We told you about a tour of Oxford Square this past week, and here is a slideshow that gives the mini version for those of you who couldn’t make it.
Led by John Bry, the tour took place this past Tuesday, and a little more than 20 people walked with John, taking in quite a bit of information about a smallish community that was established, for the most part, in the mid to late 1800s. The tour began at what is now the Community Action Organization at 70 Harvard, but was originally established, according to Bry, as the Ingleside Home for Women and the Erring (top photo).
A mixture of Queen Anne and Colonial Revival styles, the community was built on either side of Lafayette, with working-class families to the north and grander homes to the south. The neighborhoods were populated by railroad engineers, beer barons, cemetery keepers, headstone and monument makers, the owner of the first film automat and a rather hapless inventor who was bent on revolutionizing the rotary engine (mortgaging his house to do so), only to die just as his plans were finally recognized as worthy.
The homes in the area were designed by notables such as August Esenwein, H.O. Holland, the duo of Coleson and Hudson, Emil Paul and Martin Miller.
All in all, the tour was highly informative, and showed the neighborhood residents to be a cohesive lot; some of the people on the tour were from the neighborhood and seemed to be familiar with many of the neighbors as we passed by.
When Bry says that the neighborhood is up-and-coming, one can’t discount the familiarity among the neighbors, many of whom are keeping pristine properties, and those homes that are renovation works in progress. Yes, there are a few homes in the area that need a new owner and some love, but from the look of things, the time to get in on that investment would be now.