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Neighborhood Page

About Our Neighborhood

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Development of the Venable Neighborhood began in the late 1890’s, primarily by University professors and local professionals. The oldest portions of the neighborhood contain a broad range of residential, commercial and institutional structures that were built between the 1890’s and the Great Depression.

The architecture, now recognized as a local historic district, demonstrates a variety of styles and helps frame the story of how the University has developed and changed over the years. Many of the homes on Rugby Road were designed by notable architects such as Eugene Bradbury and were built before the 1940’s.

Historically, boarding houses concentrated along University Avenue, Elliewood Avenue, Chancellor Street, and Virginia Avenue were an important source of student housing from the late 19th century until after World War II. After the University significantly increased its enrollment in the 1970’s, many of the large houses were converted into rentals and the boarding tradition became the student rental/property management industry so prevalent in the area today. In addition to academic and fraternity/sorority properties, major facilities in the neighborhood include Venable Elementary School, the Gordon Avenue Library, and numerous churches.

Originating in the 1830’s and 1840’s, The Corner business district, located on University Avenue between Chancellor Street and 12-1/2 Street is a major center of activity in the neighborhood. Recently, both the Rugby Road area and the University Corner were designated as local historic districts.