Toledo Neighborhood Guide
Old West End Neighborhood Map
Areas of Interest
|With the introduction of the streetcar in the 1860s, areas further away
from the downtown gained faster access to the city. Shortly after the streetcars came,
developers began to plat land for residential settlement along these rail lines. As
Toledos first suburbs, these neighborhoods were patches of developed land separated
from the city by broad expanses of undeveloped land.
One rail line, the Adams Street Line, ran along present day Adams Street, then bent northward onto Ashland Avenue, and ended its line somewhere along Collingwood Avenue. When the Old West End was platted at the end of this line in 1866, the wealthiest and most well-to-do of Toledo began moving away from their former downtown homes to live in this new development far from the city. The Old West End, a neighborhood of lavish Victorian and Edwardian mansions, experienced most of its growth between 1875 and 1915. With the introduction of the automobile at the beginning of the twentieth century, Toledos well-to-do found transportation to and from the city even easier, and moved out of the Old West End to new neighborhoods further away from downtown Toledo. Although the neighborhood was on a decline in the 1960s, the Old West End has reversed this trend and has experienced major restorations and rise in property value, as well as gentrification, over the past thirty years. In 1973, part of the Old West End was placed on the National Register of Historic Places as an Historic District. This district was then expanded in 1984.
The Old West End is one of the largest Victorian neighborhoods in the United States. The architectural styles of the homes feature a myriad of popular Victorian designs, including Second Empire, Stick, Queen Anne, Shingle, Richardsonian Romanesque, and Folk Victorian. Later Edwardian designs, such as Arts and Crafts, Neo-Colonial, and Italian Renaissance are also found along the edges and throughout the historic district. Houses in the Old West End feature such amenities as hardwood floors, wrought iron fences, carriage houses, stained glass windows, and fireplaces. These homes are large two or three story structures with many windows.
On the first weekend in June, residents of the Old West End hold their Spring Festival, which features food, entertainment, tours of historic homes, and spontaneous garage sales. Citizen involvement in the Old West End is high, and this is reflected by its many neighborhood organizations.
One of the Old West Ends most famous structures is the Toledo Museum of Art. Built in 1912, the museum is one of the nations finest, featuring exhibits from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, as well as works by such famous artists as El Greco, Rubens, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, and Hopper. Also inside the museum is the Peristyle theater, which features music and theater productions year round. Adjacent to the museum is the newly constructed University of Toledo Center for the Visual Arts, which serves as a place for student to learn, work, and display their artwork.
Although its large lots with long front lawns give the neighborhood the look of a park like setting, only a few parks are found in the Old West End. One such park, the Old West End Commons, sits near the heart of the historic district. Another park, Macelwane, provides residents with a picnic area, basketball court, and play equipment.
Transportation is not a problem for residents of the Old West End. The nearby Swayne Field Plaza at Monroe Street and Detroit Avenue, as well as the Franklin-Bancroft Plaza, offers basic goods and services to residents, while Monroe Street continues northwest to other shopping centers like the Franklin Park Mall. The neighborhoods close proximity to Interstate 75 allows easy transportation throughout the metropolitan area. The Old West End is only minutes away from downtown Toledo, either by car or by bicycle. Detroit Avenue, in the western portion of the neighborhood, offers a passage south to Maumee and the Anthony Wayne Trail.
Homes in the Old West End, based on 1990 census data, ranges from $20,000 to $60,000 in price, with some restored mansions worth well over $100,000. The percentage of home owner occupancy is about 40%. Over 10,000 live in the Old West End, and their average annual household income, based on 1990 census data, is about $20,000.
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