The Weinland Park Community Civic Association and the Greater Columbus Habitat for Humanity won the outstanding group award this year from the Columbus Landmarks Foundation for the new infill houses that Habitat is building in Weinland Park. Through a somewhat prolonged and not always peaceful process a new design that took into consideration the historic nature of the neighborhood was conceived. There is more to building a Habitat house than meets the eye and many of the features on the original were geared towards ease of construction and price. But the design didn’t fit into the streetscape. After numerous meetings it the design was altered to have foundation heights, eaves heights, and roof pitches that matched others in the neighborhood. The porches were also expanded so that the new owners and their families can all enjoy the friendly nature of Weinland Park, greet their neighbors and make new friends without leaving the comforts of home.

Incredible patience was the key and while things weren’t always rainbows and puppies during meetings everyone would take a deep breath and chat after the meeting. Fortunately the Columbus Foundation and Columbus designer Rob Harris chipped in to realize the vision that the community had worked out. Not only is the Weinland Park design the new infill choice for historic neighborhoods in the city but the Greater Columbus Habitat is going to share the experience with the national leadership and work on new ways to have historically sensitive infill in other historic neighborhoods around the country.