About Italian Village
Italian Village is one of Columbus' first
suburbs, annexed to the city in 1862, with the
street system being completed in 1899. A mix of
Italian and Irish immigrants inhabited the area in
the 1890's, finding work in the stone quarries,
construction trades, and railroads. The
neighborhood owes its name to their significant
contribution, to the Italianate style of architecture
of many of the buildings, and to St. John the
Baptist Catholic Church where Italian was spoken
in the mass.
Italian Village flourished well into the 1940s because of its walkability to shopping, goods and services, and its proximity to downtown. The area began to decline after World War II as some of the residents moved to newer suburbs. By the 1970's, the population had decreased to the point that Sacred Heart Grade School closed, and the remaining residents decided to take action.
The Italian Village Society was formed in 1972, and the City Council created the Italian Village Commission to help reclaim the neighborhood. In 1986 the entire Short North area (Italian Village, Victorian Village, and the High Street Commercial District) was awarded an "All American City" designation for its public-private partnership in the area's revitalization. Italian Village is now listed on the National Register for Historic Places.