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Historical Columbus


Guests: Kevin Wheeler & James Goodman, City of Columbus

Tune in to hear from Kevin and James about the historical side of renovating, the process to preserve it and what it means to live in one of Columbus’s 14 historic districts.


Kevin Wheeler began working for the city of Columbus in 1989 with a background in City Planning at The Ohio State University. He is now a part of the planning division for land and structures throughout Columbus and works to preserve historic districts in Columbus including commercial and residential properties.

James Goodman, the Historic Preservation Officer, grew up around older homes working with his grandfather and father.  He currently serves the 18 historic districts including four well known Columbus locations: German Village, Italian Village, Victorian Village, and Brewery District.

When it comes to preserving the history while remodeling in these 18 districts, there is a unique balance. Each district currently has a set of their own guidelines with best practices while remodeling and maintaining the integrity of the home. It all begins with a history or map of the proposed district; identifying unique attributes in the architecture, common themes, and other structural guidelines within the district. This task is completed by the residents of the community working together.  When an application to create a historic district is submitted to the City of Columbus, a public hearing is held and decides if the districts meet code.  Being a historic district is an added attribute and stability for homes in these locations.  City Council then makes a final decision regarding the status of the district.

Commissions in historic districts take on the task of approving changes on parcels during a remodel such as room additions or other exterior work that could change the structure or look of the overall home.  The commission is made up of people with various skill sets and is appointed by the Mayor.  Many homeowners can present an idea or project that is then reviewed by the commission and work alongside them in making sure it fits with the district while still preserving the original craftsmanship.