Fred Holdridge & Howard Burns

Why this Tribute?  Urban Development…Performing Arts…Equal Rights….City Culture and Nightlife:  all of these are the legacy of Fred Holdridge and his late partner, Howard Burns.  Please help The Legacy Fund create a too-long-delayed community tribute to these Columbus pioneers.

No person or couple could be more iconic of Columbus than our beloved “Fred and Howard.”  From their perch at their equally iconic business, Hausfrau Haven, Fred and Howard became the “Mayors of German Village,” investing in and leading the renewal of one of the nation’s premiere urban development success stories.

But their contributions to Columbus did not stop there.  Fred and Howard gave time and money to Columbus culture, and especially to the performing arts.  They spearheaded the development of CATCO and later literally saved the theater company with infusions of both money and leadership.  Nearly every performing arts organization in Columbus has benefited from their support.

Fred and Howard also played a unique role in the advancement of rights for gays and lesbians.  By living their lives as a couple openly and honestly, they provided a window to the Columbus world on gay relationships.  Many Columbus leaders have considered Fred and Howard to be their bridge to understanding and acceptance of Columbus’ prominent gay community.

Although our community felt the loss of Howard in 1991, Fred has continued their legacy of leadership.  He continues to support the arts, and he still chairs the “Fun Committee” of the German Village Society.  Even more significantly, Fred agreed to serve on the board of The Legacy Fund of The Columbus Foundation, helping lead the effort to secure a permanent endowment for Central Ohio’s gay community.

Despite this unique and impressive legacy, Fred and Howard have never been given a proper community-wide acknowledgment for their many contributions.  The Legacy Fund is pleased to correct this oversight with an April 1, 2010tribute to these men.