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, clean air, and for 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.

 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. 

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(above) Inkster Ave

In 1920, as a tribute to the city's fallen war hero, Joseph B. Westnedge, West St was renamed Westnedge Ave.  Shortly after his funeral, thousands of people lined the streets to honor the popular Kalamazoo figure. Soon after his passing, residents began affectionately calling the neighborhood a new name - Westnedge Hill.

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(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. 

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(Above) Crane Ave

A lawyer named Edgar Crane arrived in 1883 and quickly made an impact on the community.  He played a considerable role in the expansion of the neighborhood and in 1912 he gifted the city his beautiful land overlooking the hill - Crane Park.  

Neighborhood Numbers

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