Updated: Nov 15, 2019
Written by Tessa Vice, College Hill Resident, and Industry Expert with J.P. Weigand & Sons Inc.
College Hill is a perfect setting for an old fashioned childhood right out of a storybook. In this special area, you may witness kids cruising on bikes heading to the park on brick-paved streets, or hear sounds of cheering from the Blessed Sacrament baseball field. Children playing on the playground, and the squeak of the swing set chains as kids soar back and forth, are heartfelt sounds often heard as well.
College Hill is a historic neighborhood where no two houses are the same. Mature trees, among the oldest in Wichita, line the streets and make perfect “climbing trees.” As the street lights come on, the neighborhood kids head home after another fun day in the park. At night you might hear the distant hum of the trains in Old Town. For me, this is a sound of comfort and nostalgia.
In Autumn, the neighborhood comes to life--quite literally! Often referred to as “Halloween Street” or “Trick or Treat Street,” the area residents display a dramatic and thrilling array of props. There are monsters, aliens, The Wizard of Oz, and pumpkins galore at every turn. Each resident that participates portrays a unique theme. Because the displays are such a sight to see, the surrounding streets are open only to pedestrians. The effort that such a spectacle requires, demonstrates the dedication and heart of College Hill.
As a child, I can remember one year trick or treating in a friend’s neighborhood. I was so confused, and asked "Where are all the people?" I had no idea that only in movies and in those rare neighborhoods, such as College Hill, are there hundreds of kids out on foot on Halloween night!
The cold Kansas winter brings on other outdoor activities in College Hill. When the unique hills of College Hill are blanketed with snow, children come from near and far with sleds to zip down the steep and lengthy hills. Laughing or screaming can be heard all the way to the bottom! Through the "Arches of Belmont", the impressive homes are brightly lit with Christmas lights. The first two blocks of Pershing Street are colorfully lit with poles. Almost all of College Hill's street curbs are lined with cheerful illuminations. This can all be seen while riding in an old fashioned trolley that tours through the area nightly during the holiday season.
College Hill has an inherent sense of togetherness. In a city where car travel is the norm, College Hill provides a plethora of local restaurants, boutiques, and small businesses within walking distance. The area boasts two theaters, the Frank Lloyd Wright museum, numerous churches, four hair salons, several day-spas, two bookstores, a bakery, a coffee shop, and an ice cream shop, all within a mile radius from just about anywhere in College Hill. Hop on the free trolley at Clifton Square and cruise the Douglas Design District as far as Delano.
College Hill creates a community unlike any other in Wichita. It has numerous fall festivals, block parties, running races, Octoberfest and festivities in the park. One unique activity is the closing of College Hill pool, where you can bring your dog to swim and celebrate the end of summer.
College Hill is full of diversity in housing, culture and age. The neighborhood has a rich history and has so much to offer. Being in College Hill will bring you back to a period in time when children play hide and seek at dusk, neighbors wave as you pass by, and you can always count on friends gathering. College Hill is a rare and remarkable community that I have been proud to call home for my entire life.
Written by Tessa Vice, College Hill Resident
Realtor with Sonja Seidl & Associates, J.P. Weigand & Sons Inc.