Columbia-Eldridge: Craftsman, Whimsey & Victorian Beauties


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Columbia Eldridge, by Patricia Herlevi

Sought after by prospective home-owners and renters, Bellingham’s Columbia-Eldridge Neighborhood is worth a visit and do bring your camera. One of the largest neighborhoods in Bellingham, plenty of artists, planners, architects, and other craftspeople make this neighborhood their home. It’s probably the most organized neighborhood in the City of Subdued Excitement next to the York and Sehome neighborhoods (Sehome is the largest neighborhood and was once a town).

Eye-candy greets you in the form of whimsical lawn ornaments or rusty bicycles hanging from trees and free street corner libraries throughout that compete with gardens and ornamentation on renovated homes. The neighbors ranging from young families to seasoned professionals to retirees are for the most part friendly, but don’t tramp through the neighborhood carrying a large backpack or soiled clothing or you might find the local cops tailing you (due to an organized neighborhood association and discerning neighbors concerned about thieves and scam artists which unfortunately do exist).

A twenty to thirty minute stroll through the neighborhood’s colorful streets gives you a feast for the eyes and presents postcard perfect photo opportunities. Also visit the Fountain District (the urban village on Meridian Street), and Cornwall Park. Then it’s a quick jaunt downtown by bus or bicycle. Or you can check out the craftsman and other style homes in the Lettered Streets neighborhood, just south of Columbia-Eldridge and stop by Lettered Streets Coffee, on Dupont Street, housed in  historic building.

If you head north of Columbia-Eldridge on Northwest Avenue, you run into the Birchwood neighborhood which borders the Bellingham Airport on one side, Squalicum Beach on the west side, and is close to the Meridian District. While this is not my favorite neighborhood in Bellingham, it has an interesting history that featured urban farms, an egg cooperative, and a coal mine (the entrance is where Albertson’s currently stands) and the neighborhood is known for its large lots where some households have transformed into urban farms and permaculture gardens. It’s also home to the Bellingham Technical College. But for now, let’s take a photo tour of Columbia-Eldridge.

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Columbia Eldridge, by Patricia Herlevi

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Columbia Eldridge, by Patricia Herlevi

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Columbia Eldridge, by Patricia Herlevi

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Whimsical doorway (plenty in this neighborhood), photo by Patricia Herlevi

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Looking for your bicycle? Check Victor Street, photo by Patricia Herlevi

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photo by Patricia Herlevi

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Old Victorian, photo by Patricia Herlevi

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an artist lives here, photo by Patricia Herlevi

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funky Victorian

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American Colonial Style

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All photos taken by Patricia Herlevi, All Rights Reserved

Thank you for visiting Bonjour Bellingham

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4 thoughts on “Columbia-Eldridge: Craftsman, Whimsey & Victorian Beauties

  1. Hey! Enjoyed all but one thing in this Eldridge/Columbia post: the negative assessment of Birchwood! I realize this is your blog, and therefore your place to state your opinion, but since you provided space for replies I’m leaving you my opinion. Birchwood is a lovely old eclectic neighborhood, full of interesting people leading interesting lives. It might be worth your while to take a closer look. Even if your eye is the camera lens, there are things to see. We have beautiful trails and parks, our own beekeeper, beautifully landscaped homes, easy access to the bay, and much more. Bring your camera……

    • Thanks Beth.

      I’ll have to take another look at my post, but I don’t think I said anything negative about Birchwood. I mentioned the large lots for permaculture and urban farming. I even gave a bit of history, which is more than I did for the Columbia neighborhood.

      There are some cool people I know who live in Birchwood and I’ve seen some fantastic permaculture-friendly homes as well as, an urban farm. But my time living there wasn’t too pleasant since I don’t have car and the closest bus stop just happened to be one of the worst in the city as far as crime, second hand smoke and drunk men using the bus shelter as a bar.

  2. Nothing like whimsy and people who embellish their lives by loving and appreciating their environment. I love areas that have a mix of house styles – and keeps some old ones!
    (I’ve reread the post and didn’t see the “negative assessment”. All you said is you like other neighborhoods better. You said some interesting facts about it – nothing bad.)
    Love all the pictures and look forward to more of your wanderings

  3. Thanks, Philosopher. I thought so too. I’d like to add that the Birchwood neighborhood got a wonderful write up in an article I published in Permaculture Activist in 2012 and in an anthology called “Washington Reflection” published by History Press in 2012 (?) I guess the person who made the comment hadn’t read either publication. Oh, well, I’m not on the planet to please others, that’s for sure.

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