A couple of days ago one of my neighbors dropped off some clippings of newspaper articles about Dignowity Hill. One of the articles was dated September 1985 and was titled "Neatness Contrasts with Neglect". The article contrasted the grand old homes set against neglect amid the beginnings of a turnaround for the neighborhood. The picture in article shows the Elmendorf House with the caption referring to the character of the neighborhood.
Fast forward to September 2009. Well, some things have changed and others have not in the 24 years since 1985. We are in the midst of a renaissance that appears to be gaining momentum and we still have a good inventory of old houses yet we still have a ways to go in dealing with neglect. But one thing is certain: Dignowity Hill has character and it has to be preserved as we move forward.
The neighborhood plan for Dignowity Hill lays out a blue print for addressing land use, traffic and noise issues, safety concerns, historic influences on the neighborhood, etc. The hope is that the plan will help preserve and enhance much of what makes Dignowity Hill attractive as a neighborhood. As the neighborhood continues to revitalize my hope is that we can retain our sense of community, attract folks to our artistic community and continue our acceptance of newcomers. I hope that real estate agents learn to understand and convey the character of not only the houses but of the people who live here. I also hope that neglect will turn to appreciation of what we have in Dignowity Hill and result in action to tidy up.
Some things take time to change. Not a bad thing when you're talking about a neighborhood's character.