Looking for a great old fixer-upper? Look north -- to the Old Highland neighborhood in North Minneapolis, to be specific.
That's the advice from This Old House magazine, which recently released its annual list of "Best Old House Neighborhoods" -- 51 in the United States and 10 in Canada. (www.thisoldhouse.com/best-places.)
Minneapolis' Old Highland also made the magazine's "Top 6 Editor's Picks" and "Best Place for Fixer Uppers" list.
What makes Old Highland so great? The 30-block Victorian-era enclave boasts architectural diversity, craftsmanship and "preservation momentum," along with walkability, safety and community.
Much of the housing stock was built in the 1880s, when architects were designing residences for well-to-do merchants who operated nearby businesses. The neighborhood got its name for its location, high above Bassett Creek and Oak Lake.
Old Highland fell into decline during the 1970s when middle-class residents migrated to the 'burbs, and were replaced by absentee landlords. But residents fought back, forming an active neighborhood association.
"This area has always been stigmatized as a rough part of town, so it wasn't on my radar," resident Amy Narum told the magazine. But after moving into her partner's duplex, "I quickly realized that people here are really friendly and really close."
Old Highland (bordered by Plymouth, West Broadway, Aldrich and Girard) has a website, www.oldhighland.org.
What's your favorite "old house neighborhood" in the Twin Cities? And what do you love about it?