Long a gathering place for residents of Columbus, this area, which became known as Schiller Park, hosted German songfests, Fourth of July festivities, the 1864 and 1865 Ohio State Fairs, and the 1871 peace celebration commemorating the end of the Franco-Prussian War. In 1867, the City of Columbus purchased 23 acres of this area, then known as Stewart's Grove, for $15,000 and named it City Park. On July 4, 1891, before a crowd of 50,000, the German-American community dedicated the 25-foot tall, 2,640pound statue of German poet Friedrich von Schiller that had been cast in Munich, Germany, and given as a gift to the City of Columbus. In 1905, the park's name was changed to Schiller Park.
Anti-German sentiment during World War II prompted Schiller Park's name to be changed to Washington Park; however, in 1930 the name was changed back to Schiller Park. Along with all of the historic landmarks of German Village, Schiller Park was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1974; in 2006 the White House designated German Village a Preserve America neighborhood. Beginning in 1988 a cooperative fundraising and planning effort between the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, the Friends of Schiller Park, local German singing societies, and the German Village Society resulted in the restoration of Schiller Park to its former beauty. Today, as it did more than 100 years ago, Schiller Park provides a peaceful setting and serves as a centerpiece of community life for continuing generations of local residents and visitors.