Willmore City/Drake Park Historic District
2009-10-09 · By Editor
By Jim Danno
I’m writing to let you know about a great little community, adjacent to Downtown Long Beach, called the Willmore City/Drake Park Historic District. It was not only the first Historic District in the city, but also the birthplace of Long Beach. It contains the largest concentration of late 1800 to early 1900 houses in Long Beach. When I think of my neighborhood, the image is of an era when our homes were built, during a time when quality mattered, when craftsmen had the talent and patience to build a beautiful house that would stand strong – a family home for generations to come.
There is something that is special about living in a historic district; the old houses remind us of a period that many present-day neighborhoods never knew, or have long forgotten. It seems easier to be neighborly when you are living in a historic home. I don’t know if it is because of all these homes or because there are so many long-time residents, but amazingly, despite being in a big city and close to downtown, Willmore City has never lost that neighborhood feeling.
Our multi-cultural neighborhood still has “real people”. You see children playing outside or their parents sitting on the porch and everyone walks everywhere. Neighbors will drop by just to say hello, or leave a thoughtful gift by your front door. I know people, not just across the street or next door, but those who live around the corner or down the block – just like things used to be. Willmore City is a place where people will volunteer to help a neighbor in need. My partner, Kathleen, and I enjoy sitting on our porch and greeting our neighbors as they pass by – perhaps just as the original owners of our home did, back in 1908.