Old Oaks Historic District

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The Church of St. John the Evangelist in Old Oaks is a historic church in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus.

Old Oaks is a Historic District that is located just east of downtown Columbus, Ohio. The neighborhood is bounded on the West by the homes on Ohio Avenue, on the East by the homes on Kimball Place, on the North by Mooberry Street, and on the South by Livingston Avenue. Old Oaks is the most intact of Columbus's turn of the 20th century streetcar era neighborhoods that show the homes of the middle and upper classes. It neighbors many notable areas including Livingston Park, Bryden Road Historic District and Driving Park, all with the common thread of the notable Livingston Avenue Corridor which was part of one of Columbus' first street car suburbs. Architecture styles include American Four-Squares in Mission and Neoclassical Revival styles, as well as Modified Queen Anne’s. The Old Oaks Civic Association is a volunteer group of residents who are interested in the continued restoration of the district as well as the betterment of the surrounding community.

Old Oaks is a streetcar suburb in Columbus, OH. The history of Old Oaks begins in 1891 when streetcar service became electrified. In 1892, a group of developers platted the Oakwood Addition subdivision. Before that time, horse-drawn trolleys stopped service at Ohio Avenue on Livingston Avenue and the land where Old Oaks is located was mostly farmland. A notable landmark, St. John's Catholic Church Parsonage & School, was built in 1898, with neighborhood construction taking place throughout the thirty-year period from 1892 to 1922. Many German Catholics actually moved from the South Side (in what is now German Village) to get away from the cramped housing and the foul-smell of the breweries and the Olentangy River (which was used as a sewer before the sewer lines were laid). Old Oaks can be likened to a turn-of-the Century New Albany, OH. The Germans were close enough to schools, churches, extended family and businesses they knew but in an idyllic planned community.

Notable members of our community include William R Gault who was President of the Columbus Stock Yards and Vice-President of the Market Exchange Bank, Chic Harley, Ohio State University's first 3-time All-American and for whom Harley field at East High School is named and the Schottenstein Brothers who went on to form M/I Schottenstein.

Homes in Old Oaks show a predominance of architectural consistency with 2-1/2 story brick homes that boast large front porches. Homeowners were and are an economically, ethnically and religiously diverse group of people. Old Oaks is the most intact neighborhood from the turn-of-the Century that shows the homes of the middle and lower-upper classes of the Streetcar era.

Old Oaks became a Historic District in 1986 after a group of neighbors, petitioned the city for the designation for the above reasons. Residents went door to door to collect signatures from residents and homeowners indicating that they wanted the designation of Historic District. The significance is that major exterior changes to the homes' architecture cannot be made without the approval of the Historic Resources Commission in the form of a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA). These changes include siding of a wood frame home with vinyl or aluminum, removing slate roof shingles and replacing with asphalt and changing out wood frame windows with aluminum or vinyl ones to cite a few common housing projects. You must also get a COA for new paint colors and for adding fencing.

More information about Old Oaks Historic District can be found one the Old Oaks Website.


Notable residents[edit]

  • Schottenstein Family


Coordinates: 39°57′N 82°58′W / 39.950°N 82.967°W / 39.950; -82.967