Mixing Traditional Values with Contemporary Living
OK for sure, Neo-Traditional is a a big word and if you’re not on top of current urban development vernacular, as I was not until researching this article idea, a little definition text is certainly called for:
Neo-Traditional Architecture – An urban and land planning principle that combines Traditional Neighborhood Development with a New Urban Philosophy in an effort to capture the essence of Pre-World War II towns and villages where human interaction was central to everyday living – Whose ultimate embodiment would integrate workplaces, shopping, recreation, parks, restaurants, and schools with a pedestrian-friendly means of transportation (walking, biking) originating from a wide range of housing options.
And the Winner is: The Village of Providence
The Village of Providence was an easy choice as Huntsville’s neighborhood that best embodies the ideals of Neo-Traditional as it has successfully incorporated and opened offices, retail, restaurants, and a community elementary school all within easy access via pedestrian transportation. The neighborhood also offers an impressive variety of housing options, including cottages, villas, live/work units, lofts and flats.
2nd Place: Downtown and the Historical District
Downtown Huntsville with its recent addition of new condominiums must be mentioned as a 2nd place candidate. While its hard to characterize Historic as Neo-Traditional, so much of Old Town and Twickenham have already been updated and their detached garages are all in the back of the home, abundance of font porches, side walks, pedestrian accessible restaurants and places of businesses its hard not to include this area of town even though much of it is renovation work.
There are a number of neighborhoods worthy visiting, that while not having pedestrian access to retail and restaurants are neo-traditional in design, with garages and utility access in the rear of the home and lots of front porches and sidewalks. Moreover all of these communities are centered around HOA clubhousese, green space, and recreational facilities.
The Ledges of Huntsville Mountain is a private gated community centered around an 18 hole golf course and clubhouse and resturant. Retail is just a short drive down the mountain.
The Homes of Carriage Hill in the Edgewater community is another small yet interesting neo-traditional neighborhood and with120 acre Lady Ann Lake just across the street the parks and recreation amenities are hard to beat.
The Boulevard and Oakwood Neighborhoods of Lake Forest are also worth a visit and the community includes a 7100 square foot clubhouse with fitness center, a huge resort style pool complex, tennis courts, cook out area, children’s playground, and walking trails around the 31 acre lake that lies at the heart of the community.
The Homes of Olde Coblestone should also be on your list. While a much smaller neighborhood and a little off the beaten path the community archetecture and neighborhood layout certainly meet our neo-traditional characteristics.
The Midtowne on the Park Neighborhood also follows along a neo-traditional neighborhood design and if convenience is what you are looking for along with lots of green space then you likely won’t find many better.