Schenk-Atwood’s chic urban hipness exudes friendliness and warmth, dotting the area with quaint gardens and small parks while the Yahara spans the isthmus, effortlessly connecting Lakes Monona & Mendota. Take a look at the kind and number of adjectives whenever you read about the Schenk-Atwood part of town. (The city's formal designation is actually the Schenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara Neighborhood or SASY.) Most are praise bordering on reverence for an area one author called "the soul of Madison." Read more...
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You'll also see it described as distinctive, funky, quirky, diverse, enticing and creative. The place does trigger many - and varied - responses. Let's put it this way: Schenk-Atwood is the kind of community you'd expect from hipsters who actually grew up. Maybe it's more like Madison's version of Marin County, the place where trend-setters once fled to escape trend-followers - they actually want to live, not just shop, there. (It *is* on the far end of Willy Street, after all.) Houses range from mid-century modern to 19th century vernacular, with an occasional two- or three-flat mixed in. The abundance of furnished front porches are a strong indication of neighborliness. Some are lucky enough to be next to the north Lake Mendota shore and its parks. Then there's Olbrich Gardens, a public oasis open year-round showcasing botanical extravagances in the greenhouse and expert advice for ambitious gardeners of all abilities.
Shops and restaurants are a head-spinning mix of Madison heritage and individual expression. Harmony Bar, Revolution Cycles' custom bicycles, and nationally acclaimed Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier are almost stereotypical. Recent additions include Stalzy's restaurant, one of only two restaurants between either coast to offer homemade, hand-sliced pastrami, and the aptly named One Barrel nano-brewpub continue the legacy.
Once a bastion of blue-collar stability, today's Schenk-Atwood neighborhood continues a metamorphosis more than a decade in the making. One of Madison Magazine's Eight Great Neighborhoods, it somehow manages to be many things to many people. Call it an urban mosaic or social kaleidescope or both, Schenk-Atwood all hangs together comfortably as its own enclave.
SASY's Housing and Lifestyles
Although the Schenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara Neighborhood was only established in 1999, Fred Schenk opened his general store at the intersection of Atwood and Winnebago streets approximately ninety years prior to that. The Schenk-Atwood neighborhood is actually comprised of several neighborhoods including the East Washington Corridor, Schenk’s Corners, Evergreen, Circle Park, Hawthorne Park, Olbrich, Starkweather, Wirth Court Park, and Yahara (shared).
Collectively the SASY neighborhoods boast some single family homes on Lake Monona but the majority of the homes tucked serenely into older, tree-lined streets. Elegantly updated older homes and newer condos juxtapose one another on colorful Atwood Avenue where there's a bustling, newly developing shopping district. Some of the oldest homes in the neighborhood are tiny (well under 1,000 sf) so starter home prices are occasionally available. But when something does come on the market in this area, be prepared to move quickly. This area is popular and the best homes don't sit for long.
As an extremely vibrant part of Madison's Near East Side, Schenk-Atwood is quickly becoming one Madison's go-to destinations for restaurants, shopping, local pubs, and breweries. Walk or bike virtually anywhere on the Near East Side starting from the Yahara River Bike Path and check out local attractions such as the Goodman Atwood Community Center, Olbrich Park and Botanical Gardens, the historic Barrymore Theatre, Circle Park, community gardens, public murals and sculptures. Attend the Starkweather Winter Solstice Celebration and Starkweather Summer Solstice Festival and check out the SASY life!
Useful Neighborhood Links
Schenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara Neighborhood Association
Lowell Elementary School
Hawthorne Middle School
East High School
Goodman Aquatic Center
The Barrymore Theatre
Friends of Starkweather Creek
Olbrich Botanical Gardens
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Schenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara is a popular area for first-time homebuyers. For best results, consult a Near East Side Madison homes expert at Lake & City Homes Realty today!