The breathtakingly beautiful Windsor Square neighborhood is rich with history with many homes that are over 80 years old. Established in 1929, the 260-home neighborhood is considered to be one of the first few suburbs of the city of Phoenix.
Windsor Square Historic District is roughly bounded by Central Avenue and 7th Street, Camelback north to Oregon Avenue.
The architectural styles and square footage of the homes in Windsor Square range from the late 1920’s and are as new as the 1950’s, thanks to the Great Depression that slowed suburban development in Phoenix. As a result, you’ll find custom designed Period Revival style Bungalows and Craftsman Bungalow architecture combined with transitional Ranch style homes. The average home has about 1,700 square feet yet there are some smaller homes as well. The lots in Windsor Square vary in size and shape as a result of many winding, curved streets which exist in this terrific district.
Windsor Square is a 260-home neighborhood where homes date back more than 80 years and was established in 1929. It is one of the oldest suburbs of Phoenix, created when the city’s population was just 70,000 and the trolley line ended at Thomas Road. Today, it is recognized for its beautiful historic homes, friendly neighbors, urban vibe, great restaurants and is close to the light rail. Windsor Square Historic District has had a lot of national recognition from CNN Money, Time Magazine both in 2013 who voted it as one of the “Best big-city neighborhoods” stating:
Pros: Charming mid-century cottages are a hallmark of this neighborhood, in fact, Windsor Square hosts regular home tours to show them off.
But that’s not all residents have to tout. The area has excellent schools, and Windsor Square’s small size, array of shopping and amenities, and convenient Metro stop mean locals can often leave the car at home, an unusual option in Phoenix.
“Being able to walk to the explosion of new restaurants, the light rail, and a place to get my hair done is a great lifestyle,” says 48-year-old attorney Susan Myers.
Cons: Many homes are on small lots and, for some, changes require approval from the city’s historic preservation board. Kathy Shayna Shocket
Phoenix’s own New Times Magazine, chimes in about Windsor Square’s article from Money Magazine here. Here’s a portion of what the New Times mentions:
Money magazine claims Phoenix’s Windsor Square is one of the “best big-city neighborhoods” in the United States.
Reporters began by looking at walkability, green spaces, public transport, a variety of housing, a diverse group of neighbors, easy access to stores, eateries, culture – and more, in Phoenix’ Historic Districts, the section on methodology explains. “After narrowing the list, we crunched dozens of data points from NeighborhoodScout.com to see which ‘hoods rose to the top, and then visited to find our top 10 here.
Windsor Square, a 260-home historic neighborhood that was founded in 1929, is a pretty safe choice, as it’s one of the few neighborhoods in Phoenix people actually tour. We’re not sure when Central High School qualified as “excellent,” unless they were referring to private schools, which would include Brophy and Xavier college prep, which are right around the corner from the neighborhood.
Katie Luther, interviewed by The Arizona Republic, walked into the 60-year-old red-brick ranch house and knew she’d found her family’s next home.
It was in the heart of the Windsor Square Historic District, minutes from Brophy College Preparatory, which her two sons attend, and within walking distance of such hip places as Postino Central Winecafe, and St. Francis restaurant. And there was the expansive backyard with its pecan trees.
The previous owners had meticulously remodeled the kitchen and bathrooms, sandblasting the paint to reveal the original brick and the metal-casement windows. They had added cherry flooring, a two-way brick fireplace, a family room addition of clerestory windows and a bank of French doors that opened onto a brick patio with an outdoor kitchen.
Katie and Ross Luther were downsizing. Katie, a pharmacist, had been laid off. The couple needed to sell their five-bedroom Arcadia home, and the sweet Windsor Square ranch seemed like the perfect landing spot for this family of five. A few days after the Luthers moved in last August, Katie said, neighbors brought platters of food and the home had become a gathering spot not only for the neighborhood but for her sons’ friends.
On Sunday, the Luthers’ home will be one of nine residences and two gardens featured on the neighborhood’s biennial home-and-garden tour. If the home was a fit for the family, it also was a made-to-order backdrop for Katie’s eclectic collection of MacKenzie-Childs pieces, antiques and classic furnishings.
Its stained-wood floors, buttery-yellow, hand-scraped plaster walls with custom rounded corners and wide crown molding were an ideal fit for the sofas, wingback chairs, antique side chairs and tables, and special pieces like the two reproduction French metal library bookcases. Katie put those in the living room.
“I’m not afraid to use my good stuff,” Katie said. Moving from a home with more than 5,000 square feet into one that is 2,300 square feet required keeping only what meant the most. “You can get rid of things, but you only have so many cupboards, and anyway, what are you saving it for?” Katie excels at creating inviting rooms. A scientist by training, she finds decorating her artistic outlet.
The one addition that the Luthers made was a canvas canopy over the patio to create an outdoor living/dining area. There Katie has placed her beloved antique pine farmhouse trestle table. A bench and chairs accommodate the ever-growing number of people she’s likely to wind up feeding on any given night.
She reupholstered two side chairs, added pillows and touches like an antique red-plaid metal picnic basket filled with potted paper-white narcissus. This outdoor spot has become a gathering area for neighbors.
Katie likes it that way.
“I want my family to feel that they enjoy being at home and that they want to come home,” she said. “I feel more done here,” she said. “I don’t need to remodel. It’s really simplified my life and it’s freeing.”
The one thing in which she now wants to sink her fingers is the backyard garden. And for that she has big plans.
Courtesy by Susan Felt – The Arizona Republic
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