Hungarian Village

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Hungarian Village
Gateway sign for Hungarian Village
Gateway sign for Hungarian Village
Coordinates: 39°55′41″N 82°59′25″W / 39.92811°N 82.99014°W / 39.92811; -82.99014Coordinates: 39°55′41″N 82°59′25″W / 39.92811°N 82.99014°W / 39.92811; -82.99014
ZIP Code
Area code(s)614

Traveling South on High Street through downtown Columbus and passing over Interstates 70 and 71, one will find themselves among several historic neighborhoods, including the well-known German Village. Nestled between the Reeb-Hosack neighborhood to its south and Merion Village to its north, Hungarian Village quietly sits within the boundaries of Parsons Avenue, South High Street, Woodrow Avenue and Hinman Avenue.


Hungarian village is contained within the original boundaries of the Merion estate, established by Nathaniel Merion in 1809.[1] This area is part of the Refugee Tract, where Congress compensated Refugee Soldiers, or Loyalists, for their service in the American Revolutionary War. Throughout history this area was settled and populated–first by Early British and Nova Scotian settlers and later by many German, Italian, and Irish immigrants–during the Building Boom of the early 1900s when the area became known as ‘Steelton’.[2] In 1913 the Hungarian Reformed Church was established and later rebuilt in 1923. Located at the intersection of East Woodrow Avenue and South Washington Avenue the church lies on the far south border of the community. One corner stone on the face of the Hungarian Reformed church is inscribed with “United Magyar Protestant Church June 26, 1921”. This simple inscription links the church and its early Hungarian immigrant congregation to the Magyars of Hungary.[3] In 1922 there were an estimated 1,200 Magyars living in Columbus.[4] It is of no surprise that many Hungarian refugees came to the area during the failed 1956 Hungarian Revolution, while many others would settle in Cleveland, New Jersey, and New York. In 1973 it was Reverend Zoltan Szabo that proposed the idea of defining the community as Hungarian Village, looking at the revitalization in nearby German Village as a model for a successful community.[5] Twenty-five years after the Hungarian Revolution a plaque was erected, recognizing the Hungarians who died for human rights and freedom. This memorial stands outside of the Hungarian Reformed Church which still houses the Hungarian Village Society today. In 1991, Hungarian President Árpád Göncz visited the village on a seven-day U.S. trip, stopping at the Hungarian Reformed Church.[6]


Located about 2 miles from the heart of downtown Columbus is a recently up and coming place known as Hungarian Village. This small village that is approximately four by seven city blocks, sits within the boundaries of Parsons Avenue, South High Street, Woodrow Avenue and Hinman Avenue. Along with Reeb-Hosack, the neighborhood located next to Hungarian Village, a buffer is provided between the larger villages of Merion Village, to the north and Steelton, to the south.

Structures and Landmarks[edit]

Hungarian Reform Church located in Columbus, Ohio

The Hungarian Reformed Church

The Hungarian Reformed Church is a staple in the Hungarian Village community and has served its purpose for over one hundred years. It is built of red clay brick much like many of the original homes in the area, in a traditional but modest Hungarian style. There are three cornerstones at the front approach of the church. The Oldest only reads “1906” while the other two give only a little more insight to the buildings history. The Most relevant stone reads “Sep 1913 Rebuilt Aug. 26 1923” and the final stone links the congregation back to its Magyar Hungarian population, reading “United Magayr Protestant Church June 26, 1923”. The church still hold services every Sunday and serves as a meeting place for the Hungarian Village Society as well as other community events.[7]

Southside Settlement Home

Just three blocks south of the Hungarian Reformed church sat the South Side Settlement (also Known as St. Stephens South Side Community House) on the corner of Reeb and South Washington avenues. Though this settlement house is actually in the neighboring Reeb-Hosack village and is now located at the corner of East Innis Avenue and South Washington Avenue, it played a big part in the success of all European immigrants coming into the ‘Steelton’ area of Columbus. Established in 1899 this settlement house is one of the oldest in the Columbus area, and was designed to help the new European population (German, Italian, Hungarian, and Yugoslavian) find work in the steel mills, and to learn the American culture, language, and ultimately gain citizenship here.[8][9]


A bowling alley and the Sachsen Helm Clubhouse, were both located in Hungarian Village. The bowling alley, located on the corner of Woodrow Avenue and Parsons Avenue, is just up the street from the church. It is conceivable that this would have been a local hangout for the village at one time. The building still stands but remains mostly vacant, currently a small church congregation, True Deliverance Ministries, meets there. The Sachsen Helm Clubhouse location was on Woodrow Avenue between South 8th Street and Washington Avenue. The building still remains, but it is now occupied by the Columbus Association of the Deaf Incorporated. Its Germanic name gives insight to the fact that early on Hungarian Village was home to many different European immigrants.[10]

Bakery and Grocery

At the corner of East Morrill Avenue and Parsons Avenue, a bakery attached to a store front used to occupy the building that is currently still on that site. A grocery store where over twelve languages were spoken and residents walked to is located at the edge of Hungarian Village, just down the street from the Hungarian Reformed Church in a concrete building. Again, the grocery store is no longer there, but the building remains with a market now occupying that space.[11][12]


Dutch Colonial Style residences located in Hungarian Village, Columbus, Ohio

Housing in this area is mixed between older homes that have been around since the original days of Old Hungarian Village and duplexes that have replaced historic homes after being purchased by landlords. Both the historic and the newer houses are generally single-family, two story frame structures that sit on narrow lots. Alleys border the back of these lots upon what use to sit modest scale Queen Anne and Dutch Colonial style homes at a modest price.[13] In the 1950s and 1960s, there was a decline in this neighborhood, but it was not as significant as other central city neighborhoods. Between the years of 1976 and 1982, the decline was reversed and the slow rising values can still be seen by residents today.


  1. ^ "About this Neighborhood: Merion Village". WOSU presents Columbus Neighborhoods. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
  2. ^ "History". Hungarian Village Association. Archived from the original on 2013-12-28. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
  3. ^ Souders, David, Aaron. The Magyars in America. p. 81. Retrieved 2014-04-19.
  4. ^ Souders, David, Aaron. The Magyars in America. p. 52. Retrieved 2014-04-19.
  5. ^ Ferenchik, Mark. "Hungarian Village neighborhood reviving ties to ethnic past". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
  6. ^ Ferenchik, Mark. "Hungarian Village neighborhood reviving ties to ethnic past". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
  7. ^ "Hungarian Reformed Church of Columbus, OH". Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  8. ^ "Settlement Houses". Franklin County Children’s Services. Archived from the original on 29 April 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  9. ^ Mills, Michelle, M. "Programs and History". St. Stephen’s Community House. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  10. ^ "Sanborn Maps". Columbus, Ohio. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  11. ^ "Sanborn Maps". Columbus, Ohio. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  12. ^ Ferenchik, Mark. "Hungarian Village neighborhood reviving ties to ethnic past". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
  13. ^ Ferenchik, Mark. "Hungarian Village neighborhood reviving ties to ethnic past". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2014-03-26.