The Southeast side
Between the flourishing retail developments along Ireland Road and rejuvenated downtown South Bend, residents of the charming Altgeld-Victoria neighborhood on the city's southeast side enjoy rich community life in a historic setting.
Originally built during the housing boom of the Roaring 20s, the Altgeld-Victoria neighborhood stretches from Miami Street to Clyde Street and from Ewing Street to Fairview Avenue. The architecture in the neighborhood represents the range of popular housing styles from the 1920s. Styles include American Foursquare, Tudor Revival, Colonial Revival and Spanish Eclectic, amid numerous bungalows and Craftsman style homes.
A 50-year homeowner once considered herself the sole survivor of the generation that filled houses around her for decades. She says she is so happy with the new wave of homeowners that she's decided to stay.
"It's more a neighbor-to-neighbor neighborhood," said a man, adding that even though one resident moved to a retirement home she still comes back to visit, and residents go to visit her.
He particularly enjoys going to the nearby Tutt Branch of the St. Joseph County Public Library on Miami with his daughter on her bicycle. The library branch recently underwent a renovation, which included a 3,000-square-foot expansion.
"I think Miami Street continues to hold its own," he said. "We're all super-excited at the expansion of the Tutt library branch. It was always packed in there prior to the expansion.
"This is an active neighborhood and everyone absolutely loves it. You really start to feel that traditional neighborhood feeling."
Another couple moved onto Victoria Street in 1978 and, as their family grew, moved one block, to Fairview, in 1989.
"We didn't want to move away from here," said the father. "We knew all the people. You could talk to the people. It is a great place. It's close to everything. You can get to any place you want to be without the traffic on the north side of town."
Nearby institutions such as Grace United Methodist Church, Ridgedale Presbyterian Church and Saint Matthew's Cathedral and School contribute to the area's stability. Also close by are the Stanley Clark School and Lincoln Primary Center, which opened a modern new facility in 2005.
The couple lives on Altgeld, which she said is German for "Old Gold," leading her to speculate that Germans must have originally settled the area. "I really appreciate the charm of the neighborhood."
"Lincoln school for us has been a nice school," said a man who moved within the neighborhood to stay in the school district.
"The houses sell quickly there. It's still a really wonderful, fun, family-friendly neighborhood. Young families continue to grow," he said. He knows families who have added a second or third child since moving in.
Residents benefit from the expansive retail development in the Erskine area a few minutes' south on Miami. Downtown South Bend is a few minutes' drive northwest. In addition, Miami Village, which hosts numerous locally-owned shops and businesses, is within easy walking distance of the Altgeld-Victoria Neighborhood. Home prices will delight you.