A Historical Neighborhood and Location, Location, Location!!

As one of Tallahassee’s surviving downtown and historic neighborhoods, Old Town owes much of its charm and character to the remaining original homes from the 1930’s and 1940’s.  Without these endearing original homes, Old Town would not be so unique.  Many of Old Town’s original homes retain the character and architectural distinctiveness of the period in which they were built.  Bordered by Mahan, Magnolia, Miccosukee, and Meridian, and bisected by Hillcrest, the Old Town Neighborhood is a place where kids in every grade can walk to school and from which you can be almost anywhere in town in just minutes!

Leon High School (LHS), built on its current site in 1936, has long served as an anchor for the Old Town Neighborhood.  LHS, also has a storied past and has been designated as an historic preservation site by the U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service, and it is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  The Brokaw-McDougall House, completed in 1860, sits at 329 North Meridian Street and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.  Cobb Middle School, on Hillcrest St. and constructed in 1952, was the first Leon County public junior high/middle school.  Kate Sullivan Elementary School was constructed in 1949 and became the third elementary school in Tallahassee.  We are currently working to achieve the historic neighborhood designation for Old Town.  Understandably, the vision statement for the Old Town Neighborhood Association is:  “… to protect and preserve the beauty, identify, and quality of life in the Old Town Neighborhood”.

The Old Town Neighborhood Association was recognized on March 24, 2021 by the City of Tallahassee 2020 Neighborhood Awards Program for the Best Physical Neighborhood Improvement.  The Beautification Project involved landscaping and building activities which included the:  (1) the planting of trees adjacent to E. Tennessee St. (on the Leon High School (LHS) campus in front of the parking lot); (2) planting bushes and selected trees on both sides of Terrace St. (a major neighborhood entrance and thoroughfare); (3) planting bushes on both sides of the entrance into the LHS parking lot; (4) building a neighborhood marker on Terrace St.; and (5) planting a native vine (Confederate Jasmine) at the concrete wall (adjacent to Tennessee St. on the Terrace St. side).  This Beautification Project was BIG… covering from beginning to end… the length of three football fields!

This was a Beautification Project built on PARTNERSHIPS representing coordination and collaboration among the following entities:  Leon High School, the Old Town Neighborhood Association, the City of Tallahassee, the Florida Department of Transportation, Native Nurseries, and Betton Hills Neighborhood Association.  All parties, and the wonderful individuals who work in these organizations, came together to plan and implement a remarkable joint effort that will have a lasting effect on the school, neighborhood , and overall city environments, as well as, teachers, staff, students, residents, and the general citizenry of Tallahassee.  It will be a legacy for all – project participants, members of the Leon High School community, Old Town Neighborhood residents, and folks just passing by and enjoying the scenery for many decades.

Marsha Turner, President, Old Town Neighborhood Association

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