For a historic-home lover like me, there is nothing like a charming boulevard with houses a century old and trees to match. This is precisely why widening South Boulevard is a bad idea—the atmosphere will change dramatically as traffic increases and asphalt creeps much closer to houses.
Also, it should be noted that although the news reports these proposed changes might not happen for five years, city engineers told the public at a meeting June 5 that they will be making their final recommendations for South Boulevard at the city-council meeting August 15 (see their proposal here). So even if widening might not happen immediately, the decision to widen the road is happening right away. There’s no time to lose in preventing this.
Here are just a handful of beautiful homes that make South Boulevard the scenic route it is:
Across the street from me is a 1940s Georgian home (or should I say estate?). Built in the 1940s, its original front door and leaded windows are intact. Inside, the plasterwork is noteworthy; a regional artist by the name of Gisin applied the plaster to the walls, and the home is also decorated with many original Gisin works of art. Artistic Gisin upon functional Gisin—you don’t see that everyday.
You’ll remember this adorable Colonial featured on the Historic Homes for the Holidays tour (and yes, I’m hoping to organize another tour this December if I can wrap up this stuff with the city between now and then). This home is in the impacted area and will lose its trees if the road is widened.
This cottage is one of the best-cared-for houses on South Boulevard. Its decades-old maple trees are simply stunning and also in the impacted area where widening could happen.
One of my favorite houses on the street, this cozy Tudor revival is a 1930s construction and includes so many original features inside and out—windows, trim, wallpaper, doorknobs, front door, and more. It is also located along the blocks where widening is planned, which will bring traffic practically to the doorstep.
I’d dare say this house is in the top three favorites on South Boulevard. Built during World War II, the house’s abundant trees, rich color scheme, and ample windows make it a crowd favorite. Make sure to check out the lush flowerbeds on the side yard.
Another favorite on the street, this home is one of the oldest in town. For years it was shrouded behind a wall of evergreens, but those came down a few years ago, revealing this gambrel-roofed red home in all its glory. The original house has been added onto, but the original structure dates to the 1800s.
And most of you have probably seen my house; if not, check out the Home Tour tab at the top of this page.
All these homes are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. They sit side by side with other historic homes and nary a business in sight. This stretch of South Boulevard is completely residential—the wrong place for a thoroughfare.
Let’s keep working together to preserve South Boulevard and its unique history. Tell me, what South Boulevard houses are your favorites? •