Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Huntridge, one of America's very first tract neighborhoods

The first big housing boom in Las Vegas was caused by WWII. Nellis AFB was just being opened. Cheap, comfortable housing was required. Huntridge's first homes were built in 1942, and except for a few homes out in the desert on 5th Place and 6th St, they were the first properties built South of Charleston. The last of them was built in 1949.

There were a total of 622 homes built.These are 2 examples of the original look of the homes. The top picture has been carefully maintained and loved.
They were all 2 bedroom 1 bath, relatively square cottages. Apropos to the times, they had very high pitch roofs, and lots of attic space. They each came with a carport under roof. The typical yard was about 7000 sf, and since the homes were between 800 and 900 sf, there was lots of back yard space.
Two recently renovated ones are on Oakey in the 1100 Block. Roofs, landscape, and wonderful colors were added, but we don't know whether the "bones" of the homes were upgraded. These were built with wood casement windows, Cast Iron pipes, clay sewer lines, and screw in fuse panels. Making a house pretty, without addressing the plumbing, electric, energy efficiency etc is putting the cart before the horse when it comes to truly restoring a property.
Thru the years, most of them have been added onto or expanded, with the most common being the closing in of the carport. Some had 2nd stories added, many had whole additions built to the back of the home. The most outrageous was the "geodesic dome" added to one at 1067 Griffith.

Many of the additions I've seen were just slapped together, don't integrate well with the rest of the house, are heated and cooled with window or wall units, etc. I'd tear off and start over on more than 1/2 of the additions I've seen on many of the cottages. A properly constructed master bed and bath addition adds real value, and is one way to make money with these little gems.

The neighborhood was designed for walking and riding bikes to the new shops and stores on Charleston, and in the middle of the neighborhood was the Huntridge "Circle Park" in the middle of Maryland Parkway. Maryland ended at St. Louis, till it was punched thru in the 50's to meet up with Sahara.

Currently, there are 11 "Huntridge Cottages" for sale from $199,000 to $310,000. There's a big price swing due to the various additions and modifications that have been made, and lots of weight needs to be given to the bones of the house that I've discussed above.

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