The Near Northwest Neighborhood isn’t just a neighborhood. It’s a neighborhood of neighborhoods. This charming area is incredibly varied with tree-lined avenues, historic homes and a rich full history. The neighborhood features four historic districts: Chapin Park, North St. Joseph Street, River Bend, and Riverside Drive. Each one features homes of different genres and architectural styles. However, all add to the rich fabric of the neighborhood.
Chapin Park is both a National and Local historic district and includes Gothic Revival, Second Empire, Shingle, Queen Anne, Prairie and Eclectic Revival architecture. It was home to the leading citizens of the day. Restored turn-of-the century mansions are now home to a diverse community of homeowners who enjoy the easy access to downtown, parks and the river. Old houses and young families flourish in the neighborhood that was once called “The Gold Coast.” This was one of “the” places to live and still is.
When a river bends, the rushing water slows. The pace is relaxing, yet on the verge of tremendous energy. That analogy applies to the historic River Bend Neighborhood. The River Bend Neighborhood is part of the much larger Near Northwest Neighborhood and has two Historic Districts within its boundaries: River Bend Local Historic District and North St. Joseph Street Local Historic District. Both historic areas reflect the era of South Bend’s architectural development from the turn of the century until just after World War II.
Drive through the Riverside Drive Historic District and you will be engulfed by the beauty of the neighborhood. The sparkling river, lush river bank and elegantly designed historic homes are an absolute delight. Plus there is a park on each end of the district, and you’re within minutes of downtown. This neighborhood contains a variety of popular residential styles including Queen Anne, Prairie, Colonial Revival and other period revival structures. The oldest house in the neighborhood is the 1890’s Chapin House which was moved to 1007 Riverside Drive in 1912. Young professionals are especially attracted to the area, with many Notre Dame and IU South Bend Professors, as well as other educators and at least a half dozen architects.