Discovering Shaw, 9: Shaw Boulevard Between Lawrence Street and Thurman Avenue, North Side

Shaw Boulevard seems to have been intended to be the main artery laid out through Henry Shaw’s subdivision, heading west from Grand Boulevard to the north side of his botanical garden. His Shaw Place subdivision was located on the north side of the street, as well. Compton and Dry also reveals it is one of the first two major streets laid out in the neighborhood, the other one being Flora Boulevard or Place. One of the oldest houses in the neighborhood, a board and batten house, is located just west of Shaw Place, too.

Interestingly, despite what I expect would have been a boulevard lined with grand homes, Shaw Boulevard turned out to be much more democratic, lined with four-family flats, with occasional small houses, such as the Dutch Colonial and Arts and Crafts combination house above.

It’s amazing to see how dramatically this street has changed; I remember many of these now-rehabbed buildings only a decade ago having a much different state of repair.

In fact, while some are still low rent four-family apartments, many have now been converted into condos, or renovated into more expensive apartments.

Continuing a theme seen throughout the city, there are one family houses sitting right next door to two-family houses, which look like single family houses at first glance.

But I really enjoy this architecture, as it is an interesting mix of different eclectic styles; it has a dash of the Arts and Crafts, with some Tudor Revival as well as a wide variety of different color brick on the fronts of the buildings.

Probably the most notable change in the last decade at corners is the opening of new restaurants, such as the popular second location of Sasha’s, seen at this beautiful storefront.

It wraps around to the west elevation on Thurman Avenue, and I assume the apartments are preserved up above. The world did not end either with the addition of more people parking around the streets for the restaurant.

And in what is rarity in Shaw, there is a building facing one of the north-south streets, which in this case is a building on Thurmond on the east side of the street.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. ME says:

    Glad to see improvements of this beautiful neighborhood without mass demolition, as opposed to what happened just north of I-44. These homes were really built to last if maintained properly.

    Even the plainest of plain houses in this neighborhood are still unique in their own way. The variety and detail contributes to the vibe of the city.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      Agreed on your sentiments–even the most humble houses are still graced with style and finesse–no matter a person’s economic means, they could live in a beautiful house or apartment.

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