The Old Neighborhood 5

McDonough County Courthouse

For this week’s older home in an older neighborhood, I made a trek back to where I spent a good three years of higher learning (learning my drinking tolerance). My wife and I took a day trip on Monday to Macomb, Illinois, home of the Western Illinois University, where we met just over a decade ago.

Macomb is a pretty typical rural Illinois community. When you tell people you went to school there, they usually tell you how they had a blast partying there one time. The town is fueled by the university for 9 months, then goes on a cleanse for the summer. It is the county seat so a courthouse is at the center of the downtown square, and many gorgeous historic buildings surround it. Just like most American small towns, it gave way to Wal-Mart and sprawl. Unfortunately, Macomb is not as dense and as lively as it could be since it is bleeding drive-thru’s and chains from the center of town outwards.

The home that struck my fancy is on the border of the college campus and the downtown. It’s of the craftsman bungalow style. In order to not creep around every neighborhood in town, I usually go with a gut feeling when selecting these.

There is a nice mixture of materials used on the home which adds to the depth of it. The brick of the lower foundation and porch, the siding, and the pavers used for the retaining wall all compliment each other well. The yard is moderately sized, but perfect for low maintenance planting and less mowing that needs to be done.

There are many advantages this home, and most in town. You are with in walking or biking distance of the university, a nearby community college, the downtown, a train station that commutes to Chicago, and all at an affordable price. There is always something about a college town atmosphere that is energetic and vibrant. It generally comes from the diversity of students and professors that it brings and having the presence of people always near.

Carnegie Library downtown
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