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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

North vs. South


A recent group of studies found that people tend to view the northern part of any city as more monied and a more desirable to location to live. The four studies asked participants "to look at a sketch of a hypothetical city and imagine where an affluent 'Dr. Bennett' might live." 72.5% chose areas north of the fictional city's center line.

This holds true in only one of the two cities I've lived the longest and only to an extent. In Indianapolis, new money lives to north and northeast in Carmel and Geist, while old money tends to settle just north of the city center in Meridian-Kessler. In Denver, old money can be found in the neighborhoods to the immediate south and west of downtown - Cherry Creek, Country Club and Park Hill - and also south of the city in Greenwood Village and Cherry Hills. New money is all over the place in the Mile High City and can be spotted by the ugly Tuscan Cowboy McMansions they've built on top of the perfectly lovely houses they've recently razed.

How does your city compare? Would you say the North vs. South hypothesis is correct?

Study Points to Bias Toward a City's North Side [The Wall Street Journal]

21 comments:

Kerry Steele- Design du Monde said...

It doesn't really apply to the tiny city I live in now. Money is smack dab in the center or scattered through the countryside. When I lived in Pittsburgh, old money was in the east of the city proper. It is also to the north in Sewickley.
The vulgarity of new money was anywhere and everywhere there was enough room to lift a nose high in the air.

Debra Phillips said...

interesting. the small village i live in could go the direction of the study, north is affluent.
in nearby chicago the north portion, particularly the 'north shore' is the place "to be"

ever notice when a community is divided by RR tracks, there is always the more affluent north of the tracks

The Pink Pagoda said...

Very interesting. Here, the real affluence is in the center. It is north of downtown, but what one calls north Dallas is less affluent. And the further north one drives, the tackier the McMansions grow.

stephanie h said...

Memphis runs East and West...with East being more desirable (maybe you've heard of the West Memphis 3? ha! actually that's arkansas!), but plenty of old money in mid-town. We also have 'inside' the loop, and 'outside'the loop. Inside being much more affluent, outside being suburbs. Look at a map of Memphis and it all makes sense..I am always intrigued by location, location, location!!!!
Oh, and North and South Memphis are equally undesirable! HA!

A said...

To more accurately formulate my hypothesis, I will need to know how many IKEA Esbjörn chairs are wearing "diapers" in the North and South sides of my town.

Rose said...

In my city, the highest median income is actually in the South - as far South as it can get (US border).

So I think the hypothesis is wrong.

Hello Chad said...

Birmingham, Al. The most affluent neighborhoods are to the south starting downtown where Morris Avenue divides Northside from Southside, further into other communities to the south, Highland Park, Mountain Brook, Homewood, Vestavia Hills, and Hoover. Although at one time an area above the Northside downtown district called Norwood was a beautiful affluent area. Unfortunately many of these homes have fallen into disrepair.

Kimberly Lemmon said...

I lived a large portion of my life in Atlanta and it used to be the north side was more affluent but because of the airport expansion (located in South Atlanta) lots of ritzy neighborhoods were built on the southside to accommodate the pilots. Here in Chattanooga the old money lives on Lookout Mountain to the south, and the nouveau riche live in the northern suburbs. I'm in the middle with the serfs.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Where I live, a small New England coastal village, it's all about the shorefront, not compass points these days. Fifty years ago, in my childhood, it was the big shorefront estates, and the next level down was the big 19th century houses west of the village---and hilltops. Now it's water front all the way.

The Down East Dilettante said...

PS, 'Tuscan Cowboy McMansion' is the most brilliant thing I've read all day. That really sums it up.

Nita Stacy said...

It's true in Oklahoma City. Although in the last 10 years nice homes have been built on the far far south side. It is very common to hear someone say "That's so Southside!" And that is a bad thing.

Old Money lives nearer downtown in the historic neighborhoods and just barely north. In my opinion...tacky new money lives far northwest. People that want beautiful land in addition to a big home live far far northeast...in a northern suburb.

In recent years....people are moving back into the inner city from the suburbs as all the good stuff is happening in the city. Artsy neighborhoods...great restaurants. I bought a small historic house in a Uptown city neighborhood 8 years ago and it's value has almost doubled in that time. I could not afford my neighborhood today. But many of the people that live in my neighborhood have lived here a long time and do not plan to move. People who want to live here have to pay a premium to live in town.

Nita Stacy said...

Oh...I just thought more about this. I grew up in a very small town...1,500 people and yes, the Northside of town was THE most desirable. I rarely even went to the southside....my parents wouldn't let me ride my bike over there. In my opinion the worst place to live had to be the house that was directly under the water tower behind the small downtown. I felt badly for that family that lived there. Although...they seemed very happy in that spot. They didn't know any difference...as they'd always lived there.

chanda said...

i'm in the southern part of new york city (greenwich village), so it's not true of where i live.

jason said...

Well, I think New Orleans is kind of unique (?) in that every area of the city has a bad part. No matter how posh, a few blocks down, and you're in the hood.

Robin said...

In general, the North End of Hartford is the poorest, while the affluent tend to live either right Downtown (which is the east side, right up against the Connecticut River) or the West End, which has blocks of gorgeously restored expensive victorians mixed with pockets of middle class and poor. In any neighborhood the pendulum can swing from one block to the next pretty easily, it really is a mixed bag.

Wendy said...

In Nashville, old money lives on the west side of town, and newer money is in the suburb just to the south of the city. Interesting study!

Bethany [at] Powell Brower Home said...

i wanna know what the ugly cowboy mcmansions look like in denver!

Raina Cox said...

Bethany {at} Powell Brower Home - Fear not, dearest Bethany, I will be doing a photo tour of Denver's "finest" Tuscan Cowboy McMansions once Pea is back in school next month and posting the "winners" on La Lamp Shade.

Linda {Calling it Home} said...

In my relocation search of Naples, FL...the further South you go, the more expensive.

Susan said...

Very often is is east v west as the prevailing winds determined where the poor and rich lived. The poor lived down wind from the smelly industry.
That north/south sign is from the UK right?

Raina Cox said...

Susan - it is!