The Historic Westnedge Hill Neighborhood
Back in the mid-1800's, this beautiful neighborhood was known as Heydenburk Hill or Deacon's Hill. Farmers were drawn to this area for the hundreds of acres of arable land and clean air and being removed from the bustle of downtown.
By the late 1800's, this area was still slowly transitioning from a rural farming community to a neighborhood of single-family homes. A lawyer named Edgar Crane arrived in 1883 and quickly made an impact on the community. He played a considerable role in the growth of Heydenburk Hill and in 1912 he gifted the city his beautiful land overlooking the hill - Crane Park.
In 1896, the city decided that the hill on West St. (Westnedge) was far too steep, so to encourage growth to the area, they took a staggering 25 feet off the hill. The turn of the century brought rapid growth to the neighborhood, and by 1920, Heydenburk Hill was reshaped as a large community of single-family homes.
(above) Inkster Ave
Local war hero and standout Kalamazoo College halfback, Joseph B. Westnedge died in France in 1918. When his body finally returned home two years later, thousands of people lined the streets to honor the popular Kalamazoo figure. As a tribute to the city's fallen hero, West St was renamed Westnedge Ave in 1920. Shortly after his funeral, residents began affectionately calling the neighborhood a new name - Westnedge Hill.
(Above) Montrose Ave
Westnedge Hill is predominantly made up of post 1900 style architecture. Homes built in the 1920s and 1930s are still found in the neighborhood today. You'll find many colonials, bungalows, American Foursquare, and English Tudors throughout Westnedge Hill.
(Above) Crane Ave
The early residents of this area envisioned a neighborhood surrounded by nature. From the beautiful hardwood trees that line the streets to the gardens of Crane Park, Westnedge Hill has appealed to nature lovers for generations.