This article appeared in the October 2010 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe, please visit loumag.com.
The word “neighborhood” has always been an elastic term, and especially so in a city that until seven years ago was a whole county. It can mean, to some, a single street, or a group of streets whose homes were built about the same time, or a section of the city drawn around a central focal point, or a suburban subdivision, or section of a subdivision, or even a fifth- or sixth-class city inside the big city. Throughout October we will feature 16 of Louisville’s neighborhoods — not necessary the “goes without saying” selections that come up time and again, but pieces of real estate and social fabric inclusively chosen for their beauty, value, character, amenities and, well, neighborliness. To follow along with this series, please visit the Neighborly 'Hoods section.
Many people are drawn to the Beechmont neighborhood by its bargains. Stately Victorian houses and Arts and Crafts bungalows along Southern Parkway resemble houses found in Highlands neighborhoods but sell for considerably less. Cape Cod and Ranch-style houses on side streets are good buys for young families and first-time homebuyers. Beechmont’s freeway access is also a draw. The Watterson Expressway borders this quiet, mostly residential neighborhood, so getting to other parts of the city is easy.
Gary Guss, president of the Beechmont Neighborhood Association, moved there six years ago because he and his wife were entranced by the old homes, but he quickly discovered another advantage of the neighborhood: its high community spirit. Members of the neighborhood association arrange several yearly festivals, spruce up public spaces like the park and gazebo on Woodlawn Avenue, and coordinate a weekly farmers’ market. Residents recently started a group that meets monthly to discuss how sustainable living practices can be applied in the neighborhood, and stay connected to one another through the regularly updated Beechmont blog, and bimonthly newsletter.
Beechmont also offers stellar outdoor recreation. The wide, tree-lined sidewalks along Southern Parkway are popular with walkers and runners. The southern part of the neighborhood meets up with huge Iroquois Park, which features hiking trails, a Frisbee golf course and the open-air Iroquois Amphitheater.
Photo: John Nation
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