Mesta Park, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma  for the This Old House 2013 Best Old House Neighborhoods « »

Mesta Park, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Population: About 1,740 in Mesta Park; 579,999 in Oklahoma City
House styles: Prairie is the dominant style here; there are also Craftsmans, vernacular bungalows, and a few Tudor Revivals
Expect to pay: Bungalows cost $120,000 to $200,000; larger houses cost $225,000 to $425,000

Back in 1902, this area north of downtown was called University Addition; it had been created to build up the blocks around Epworth University, and a streetcar system once connected it to other parts of the city. Epworth has since changed names and relocated, and the streetcars run no longer, but the neighborhood now known as Mesta Park continues to thrive. This enclave of historic houses, most built during the first half of the 1900s, boasts an amenity—sidewalks—that is surprisingly absent from many residential areas of Oklahoma City. Perhaps that's why on warmer days, you'll find homeowners relaxing on their generous front porches, where they can enjoy the weather and take in the foot traffic. There are some eateries and shops along Northwest 23rd Street, but it's also a quick commute from Mesta Park to downtown Oklahoma City, where you'll find theaters, sports venues (including the arena for the Oklahoma City Thunder, the city's popular NBA team), and the American Banjo Museum, which houses the largest public collection of these instruments in the world. Prices for older houses are a bit lower here compared with neighboring historic areas, so it's a good spot for finding an early-20th-century gem that won't break the bank.

Among the best for: The South, Cottages and Bungalows, Easy Commute, Retirees, Family-Friendly
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