DLA associates discover historical and cultural impact of European architecture in Ohio

By James Harless DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

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During the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime’s European American Heritage Month program held April 24, associates discovered the impact European culture and architecture had on shaping the way the city of Columbus, Ohio, looks today.

Woman on stage at podium talking to auditorium of people
Doreen Uhas-Sauer, education coordinator with Columbus Landmarks Foundation, delivers the keynote address at the Defense Supply Center Columbus’ European American Special Emphasis Program held April 24. The purpose of the program is to bring to the forefront the rich heritage and diversity within all 51 European countries; embracing the vast history, cultural differences and artistic contributions to the world as a whole, as well as locally in our own communities.
Woman on stage at podium talking to auditorium of people
DSCC workforce learns about European history
Doreen Uhas-Sauer, education coordinator with Columbus Landmarks Foundation, delivers the keynote address at the Defense Supply Center Columbus’ European American Special Emphasis Program held April 24. The purpose of the program is to bring to the forefront the rich heritage and diversity within all 51 European countries; embracing the vast history, cultural differences and artistic contributions to the world as a whole, as well as locally in our own communities.
Photo By: Charles Morris
VIRIN: 190424-D-LC637-100
Doreen Uhas-Sauer, education coordinator for Columbus Landmarks Foundation, can normally be found providing architectural and public art tours as part of Columbus’s public health walking programs. However, DLA associates in attendance were able to join Uhas-Sauer on a virtual tour of Columbus, highlighting some of the city’s oldest and most unique architectural landmarks.

As a historic consultant with WOSU Neighborhoods and active participant in the civic life of the University District, Uhas-Sauer has committed herself to being part of the effort to preserve cultural heritage throughout the city. She’s written about historic hotels, taverns, neighborhood landmarks, early African Amercan settlement and segregated housing patterns Columbus. 

“Growing up as a child of Hungarian and Prussian parents, I struggled to see any European cultural influences around me, other than in ecclesiastical buildings,” Uhas-Sauer said. “I always figured that Hungarians were too poor to contribute to the cultural wealth or architecture of my city.”

This all changed for Uhas-Sauer while on a German language studies tour in college. Prior to the tour she felt American architecture came straight from the design pads of Americans; however, while in Central Europe she found herself gazing upon homes and buildings that one would find right here in Ohio.

As European immigrants arrived in the United States they discovered the Homestead Act would provide them with an opportunity to own their own land, obtain work and live the American dream. Their arrival not only contributed to the rise in population and workforce and architecture, it contributed to the steep history of cultural diversity in the United States.

“The city of Columbus is very special, Columbus was a cultural crossroad when it was formed in 1812,” Uhas-Sauer added. “English, Swedish, German, Dutch, Greek, Italian and French cultures have significantly contributed to the rich cultural architectural history of Columbus.”

DLA Land and Maritime’s Equal Employment Opportunity Office hosted the program at the Defense Supply Center Columbus as part of its series of annual programs honoring the diverse heritages of its workforce.

The European American Special Emphasis Program committee planned the program and theme “Historical and cultural impact of European architecture in Ohio.”

The program opened with the national anthem sung by Lisa Griffin and invocation given by Laura Leeper Branham, both of DLA Land and Maritime, before master of ceremony Shaun Sehgal introduced Defense Finance and Accounting Service - Columbus’ Raymond Gaw, DFAS program champion.

The EAPSEP offers events year round to members. Those interested in learning more or joining the EAPSEP may contact program chair Alan Shatz.