Victorian Village is one of the earliest suburbs of Columbus, Ohio, and home to numerous lovely Victorian-style houses.
It is characterized by large, early 1900’s Victorian homes, mature tree-lined streets, and runs from downtown and the Arena District all the way up to The Ohio State University.
Many of the homes in the Victorian Village Neighborhood were constructed in the early 19-th century. During that period much of the area’s early population were wealthy businessmen and their families who had built large, opulent homes and there were also several large farms on the northern outskirts of Columbus.
William “Billy” Neil was the owner of one such farm as one of Columbus’ early entrepreneurs. In 1827 he purchased a 300-acre farm and by 1853 he added considerably initial purchase and owned the entire land from west of North High Street to the Olentangy River, south to First Avenue, and north to Lane Avenue which was the furthest edge of the original farm.
Neil built a farmhouse near the center of his farm and constructed a road on the property to reach it, known as Neil Avenue.
About 10 years before his death, William divided his property worth over million dollars among his children. When he died, southern portions of the Neil Farm were developed and became one of Columbus’s first suburbs, the Victorian Village.
Dr. Lincoln Goodale, who came to Ohio in 1788, donated some 40 acres of land just east of Neil’s road to the city for use as a public park in 1851. Developed in 1870s Goodale Park became Columbus’s oldest planned park and the beginning of what later became known as Victorian Village.
Today, Goodale Park is the annual site of the Comfest music festival. Numerous different styles of Victorian homes can be seen in Goodale Park. Styles represented include Italianate, Queen Anne, Second Empire, Carpenter-Stick, and Four Square.
The decline of Victorian Village started around 1920 when automobiles became the new trend and people moved further away from central Columbus.
However, revitalization of the area started by 1970 and was renewed again when the City of Columbus officially recognized Victorian Village and declared it historic district in 1973.
In 1980, it was listed on the list of National Historic Places, in the Near North Side Historic District.
An annual Victorian Village Tour of Homes and Gardens is held every year in September since 1975 and it’s a perfect opportunity for architecture devotees to explore the interiors of these homes.