When prospective customers ask me about living in Brookside, I often give them a short verbal tour of the area: average prices for certain areas, where you can get the most bang for your buck. Rockhill Gardens is one of those subdivisions I love to talk about.
Most of the RG homes are bordered between Gregory and 75th, Oak to Holmes. There are some RG homes east of Holmes Rd, those are generally lower priced than the homes to the west. Napoleon W Dible (1872-1960) was the man who started this subdivision in 1929. He wanted ‘affordable, well-built homes’ and sold thousands of homes in the area at a low profit. Inspired by Tudor mansions in England, Dible added many of those characteristics to his homes in RG: arched doorways, gabled roofts, detailed moldings, brick, stucco and stone exteriors. He was one of the first speculator builders–that is, he built homes first before he had buyers.
Dible knew that although it was the man (and only the man!) who signed the sales contract, it was the woman who made the final decision on the house. He added special touches that appealed to women, such as built-in ironing boards, colored tiles in the baths, and curved walkways in front. Most of the homes had a side or back porch and were about 1500 square feet. Most of the kitchens were small, and some still are unless there’s been a major renovation. That’s always puzzled me, how kitchens in the 20s and 30s were so small, yet maids and wives spent so much time in the kitchen cooking from scratch! Ah, but times were different then, with the larger formal dining rooms for leisurely dinners … that seems like an indulgence now.
The reason I like to show off Rockhill Gardens to prospective buyers is this: you generally get more space for your money here than in other Brookside neighborhoods. Often the garages are attached, which isn’t common for Brookside, and bedrooms are larger. Many RG homes have finished basements. And it has an active homes association, with organized events and get togethers for the residents. A typical, updated 3 bedroom, 2 bath Rockhill Gardens home should be priced under $250,000. The location is great, close to the Brookside shops but also walking distance to the Trolley Track Trail, the Waldo Library, locally owned restaurants and shops, insurance agents, Academie Lafayette school, florist, bike shop–just about every convenience a homeowner would want.
If you plan to shop for a Brookside home, be sure to check out what’s available in Rockhill Gardens. Compare pricing with some of the other area subdivisions and see that you will get the desirable Old World charm in a well-built home for a reasonable price!