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.
All photos taken by Patricia Herlevi, All Rights Reserved
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