Near Northwest Neighborhood
The Near Northwest Neighborhood isn't just a neighborhood. It's a neighborhood of neighborhoods, with a population of 6,000 people. The neighborhood lies southwest of the St. Joseph River on the northwestern edge of downtown. Its history dates back to the late 1600s with the discovery of the St. Joseph River and creation of the Portage Trail, a major trade route used by French explorers and Native Americans who passed through the area. In 1820, the settler Pierre Navarre, the first European resident, built the first permanent dwelling in the current Leeper Park. Soon others followed and South Bend grew quickly. During the late 1800s and early 1900s the city expanded to incorporate the area we now know as the Near Northwest Neighborhood.
This charming neighborhood is incredibly varied with tree-lined avenues, historic homes and a rich full history. There are Victorians from the 1880s, Bungalows from the 1920s and American Four Squares at every turn. The architecture will impress you and the reasonable home prices will delight you.
The neighborhood features four historic districts, Chapin Park, Riverside Drive, North St. Joseph Street and River Bend. Each one features homes of different genres and architectural styles. However, all add to the rich fabric of the neighborhood. The Near Northwest is also home to Leeper Park with its fabulous scenic views of the St. Joseph River. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2000, it is the City's first planned park and features a historic duck pond and a 14-court Tennis Center that is home to the citywide championships Since 1967, the annual Leeper Park Art Fair has featured local, regional and national artists and artisans each June. Other neighborhood parks include Brownfield, Muessel Grove and Shetterley parks as well as the southern gateway to the Riverside Trail.
Memorial Hospital along with two elementary schools and a private school are in the neighborhood. Portage Avenues features a grocery store, pharmacy and hardware store just a short distance from your home. Near Northwest is at the edge of bustling downtown South Bend, its restaurants, museums and cultural life are just steps away. And the neighborhood is just minutes from the University of Notre Dame, Holy Cross, Saint Mary's, IU South Bend and Ivy Tech with all their education opportunities, sporting events and additional cultural events.
In addition to being a highly walkable neighborhood, Near Northwest is one of the most active neighborhood organizations in the City. It features a garden walk, summer cook outs and much more. The numerous events are a perfect place to meet the neighbors and make new friends. Many volunteers are committed to their projects both civic and social.
The Near Northwest Neighborhood Inc is a community development organization that has stabilized the area for many years. Restoring these old beauties and making them available for families is such an important part of the neighborhood. Executive Director Karen Ainsley bought a big home in Chapin Park 16 years ago when she was young, single and moving from St. Louis. The same qualities that attracted Ainsley – architectural beauty; proximity to parks, downtown and the river; and a diversity of among the residents – are bringing more people to the area.
You will love the Near Northwest Neighborhood, whether you want a historic mansion or a charming bungalow – there's a home here for you.