History of the Old Highland Neighborhood
The area known today as the Old Highland Neighborhood was opened for settlement in 1857. During the period of the 1860’s much of Old Highland was platted. The major arterials, as they remain today, were Lyndale Avenue and West Broadway. The major residential neighborhoods were established within the street grid system during the decade of the 1870’s. These residences were for the most part, simple frame dwellings.
A major growth of the Old Highland Neighborhood occurred during the 1880’s and 1890’s. This period saw large architecturally designed and contractor built residences of distinctive period styles. The population was generally merchants who operated businesses along Washington, Plymouth, and West Broadway. At this time the neighborhood first became known as Highland, so called because it was located on the first high land above Bassett Creek and Oak Lake to the South. Many fine residences from this era still survive.
The period between World War I and II saw residential expansion beyond Highland westward to Theodore Wirth Park. The Old highland Neighborhood saw revitalization began in the early 1970’s. Many of the distinctive residences were carefully renovated to preserve the historic character of the neighborhood. The potpourri of architecture and lifestyles which resulted has produced an exciting diversity which today makes the Old Highland Neighborhood unique and vital, respected for progressive thinking and reverence for a proud heritage.