Throughout the City of Jamestown, many neighborhoods boast architecturally unique homes, lined with soaring tree canopies, and if you can find them, streets still made of red bricks.
And while the natural beauty of the area is something to admire, it is the actions of those who live in the neighborhoods that make them special.
Take for instance, the Lakeview Avenue neighborhood. In 2008, the Lakeview Avenue Community Action Project was formed by residents as a way to bring neighbors together to promote the beautification and grandeur of Lakeview Avenue.
Ten years later, LACAP has worked with numerous homeowners, city officials and history buffs to research and install plaques throughout the neighborhood that highlight the history behind the homes, as well as, the significance of its architecture.
Some of the homes highlighted include the former residences of the owners of furniture manufacturers such as Fancher Chair and Jamestown Lounge Company. Famed Bigelow Department Store owner, Franklin Bigelow and his wife, Clara lived on Lakeview Avenue. W.T. Falconer, maker of toys and washing machines commissioned a prominent home on the street, as well.
Due to the success of the Jamestown Architectural Heritage plaque program, there are plans to expand.
“(This program) is a glimpse into the past, protected for those that have dreams to experience the days of old,” said LACAP president Marijka Lampard.
Another example of neighbors coming together is the Park West neighborhood, located on the west side of Jamestown bordered by Fairmount, McDaniel, West Third and Hallock Streets.
Informally this neighborhood pride group began in 1989 with a Wild West Side Block Sale. An inspired neighbor came up with the idea to bring residents together and host a neighborhood wide sale. The idea has blossomed over time and now the, “Every Odd Year Wild West Side Block Sale” is something many look forward to.
Another piece that makes the west side special is the newly constructed Veterans Memorial Park. Dedicated to honor those who have served in the United States military during times of war and peace, local residents and organizations supported the construction and use the space to honor and memorialize those who have served.
And while it is important to have residents invested in their neighborhoods, it is an added boost to have the support of local community organizations.
Since 2011, the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation has hosted its Renaissance Block Challenge to engage homeowners and improve properties and landscaping throughout the city, while reigniting a sense of neighborhood pride.
At this time, 40 neighborhood clusters have received, “Renaissance Block” status with more than 400 property owners investing more than $975,000 into exterior improvements and repairs. Both the Park West and Lakeview Avenue neighborhoods have participated in this event.
“While the Renaissance Block Challenge financially assists homeowners with curb appeal improvements to their properties, the real benefit is an increase in pride of ownership within each neighborhood,” said Mary Maxwell, Jamestown Renaissance Corporation neighborhood project associate.
Every gift creates a story. This story was inspired by the Fund for the Region.
For 40 years, the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation has worked together with its inspiring donors, selfless volunteers and grateful community organizations to share their stories for enriching the quality of life for all who live here.