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Overview of the Near West Side Historic Neighborhood

The Near West Side Historic Neighborhood, also known as the West Washington National Historic District, is located just west of downtown South Bend. It is roughly bounded by Main St., Western Ave., West LaSalle Ave., and McPherson St. Included in the National Register of Historic Places since 1975, it is one of the city’s oldest and best preserved historic districts, and home to a vibrant and diverse community. There are artists, architects, and writers; carpenters and electricians, contractors and tool and dye makers; school teachers and social workers; innkeepers; hospital and university administrators; physicians, professors and lawyers; clerical workers and city personnel.

The rich architectural heritage of the neighborhood includes examples of all the major styles of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century — Greek Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, Stick, Shingle, Prairie (including Frank Lloyd Wright), Tudor, Renaissance Revival  — and the housing stock ranges from historic mansions to workers’ cottages. These well-spaced houses are set in a green landscape of avenues with mature trees and narrower quiet side-streets. The Gardens of Copshaholm are a wonderful urban park.
The Near West Side is one of South Bend’s most walkable neighborhoods, within an easy stroll of Downtown galleries, public library, theaters, symphony, as well as restaurants and the scenic river boardwalk. The neighborhood itself is home to the Museum Campus (Northern Indiana Historical Museum, the Studebaker Museum), the Civil Rights Heritage Center, and is close to the Coveleski Baseball Stadium. Because of its walkability, children can gain a sense of independence in safety.

Residents of the Near West Side choose to live here for many reasons — its sense of history, its diversity and tolerance; its outstanding visual interest, the quality of its houses and public buildings, its lawns and gardens. In addition to its walkability, public transportation is readily available.