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Old Oaks Neighborhood Profiled in The Dispatch

Walker Evans Walker Evans
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Yesterday, The Dispatch ran a new neighborhood profile piece on Old Oaks, which is located just southeast of Downtown. The article does a great job of outlining the challenges that residents in this area have faced with bringing this historic neighborhood back to life. Many of the residents interviewed in the article tout the affordability of homes in the area coupled with the attractiveness of their preserved historic character.

The full article can be found here, and more info can be found at OldOaks.us.

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  • Urbanboi

    I checked out this neighborhood today after reading about it..I didnt even know it was there…Alot of nice houses.

  • Yeah, it’s a great residential community. We looked at a house in this area before we bought ours. Lots of great historic homes for great prices.

  • mstimple

    Too bad it’s surrounded on all sides by ghetto trash.  Such a shame, those beautiful houses just waiting to be restored to their glory.  Unfortunately, it will probably be a while before that area is gentrified sufficiently.

  • I knew Livingston was going to get mentioned. Like OTE, it just goes to show that you can fix up residential streets with a decent level of success, but  only up to a certain point. If you ignore the neighborhood’s commercial street(s) you will hit a roadblock and the level of revitalization taking place will plateau and the maximum level of revitalization will not occur.

    Not all surrounding streets are “ghetto trash” and many homes here in both Livingston and Driving Park are quite nice, even surprisingly so. It’s the commercial corridors that are largely contributing to the “ghetto” feel, although if you’ve been to the south side of Chicago we’ve got nothing in this city that would merit the equivalent definition of “”ghetto” and that’s a good thing.

  • Urbanboi

    Columbus doesnt have a ghetto

  • goldenidea

    In my view, it’s a lot harder to bring up these commercial streets or corridors b/c the businesses that might locate on those streets (e.g. restaurants, boutiques, coffeeshops, etc.) have to cater to the general public and the majority of that public along streets like Livingston contain elements that are not always respectful and law-abiding.  So there’s a lot of risk and consequently, it’s very hard to attract businesses.  Only after enough residental gentrification occurs will a lot of business feel the reward is worth the risk.    There are exceptions, and sometimes the first businesses that venture out can do the best and have great positive impact (e.g. Rigsby’s in the Short North in 1986)

  • Agreed. The general rule of thumb is that “retail follows rooftops” but there are those “destination” exceptions. I guess what we need to do is figure out what types of destinations these commercial corridors need to have as early adopters/investors and help those types of businesses to open up shop first.

  • SusanB

    Old Oaks is a wonderful neighborhood and I have looked at houses there (they mostly tend to be a little large for my tastes). As Children’s expands I think that the surrounding streets will improve. Cheers to Doug and his neighbors for all of their hard work to improve their neighborhood, I know it wasn’t easy. If you want a large brick Victorian and can’t afford VV I urge you to look at OO.

  • There are already over 1,600 residents here, many of whom I’m sure would patronize a quality business if it were to open up and that doesn’t include the number of visitors from other parts of the city. Some stretches of Livingston may be rougher than others, but a lot of it is residential, much like Cleveland Ave with a little of commercial buildings here and there. Even today in the Short North crime is not a deterrent to businesses setting up there and if a similar focus were on smaller, less commercially oriented streets I think it could work. As a much larger scale example, look at how Bexley has an island on Main. OO could maybe have a smaller version, more like W 3rd Ave in HW.

  • tourist19

    I have friends who own a beautiful (but run down) historic home in the area.  There are a lot of challenges they face, but someday their house will be amazing.  It’s a labor of love though.

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