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.
There is something about the entryway to the verdant, boot-shaped sixth-class city of Northfield that lets you know you’ll find exclusivity without pretension here. Guarded by a giant blue spruce rather than a stone gatehouse, the entrance features a trio of carefully pruned hollies on a wide boulevard divider that pinches both the coming and going sides of the roadbed down to single-car widths. The 287 one- and two-story brick homes, both painted and unpainted, were largely built in two waves — the original neighborhood, built in the ’50s and early ’60s, and the Newmarket section, built in the ’60s and early ’70s. Many of the homes in the latter section, slammed by the 1974 tornado, were rebuilt quickly afterward.
Little-known fact: All of the triangular Holiday Manor and Glenview Pointe commercial area is part of Northfield, so residents have walkable shopping and restaurants — if they can get across Brownsboro Road and traverse the road shoulder — in the small municipality. At the end of summer each year, the city holds a neighborhood picnic, and this year the mayor added a Friday-night cocktail party to the weekend picnic festivities.