By Juda York
It was definitely the location that made me first think Riverside is where I want to live.
Born and raised in Fort Worth, I have seen the growth and change in the city. I remember when I was around 7 years old driving on Texas 199 toward our house close to Lake Worth. My dad said, ‘Do you want to see a giant Christmas tree?’
He turned into an area that was dark and a little scary. The streets and tall buildings were mostly dark with no one in sight, except a few men sleeping on street benches. My dad called them hobos. We drove by the tall lit-up tree, but I could tell my dad wanted to get out of downtown before anything bad happened. Downtown is now a wonderfully lit-up place with people of all ages out enjoying the city day and night.
We bought our house in Riverside as an investment property with the intention of flipping it. That was in 2002. There was a buzz about the Trinity River Vision. I was excited about the possibility of living on the edge of this new urban life they had laid out at community meetings with 3D renderings.
It also fit in with the mindset that I wanted to live smaller. We all need to waste less and use more wisely. It is cost-effective for me as a Realtor and my husband as a general contractor to live in the center of everything, as we both drive throughout the county every day. We believe in the area so much that over the years we have bought seven other homes in the neighborhood for investment properties.
It wasn’t until after we moved in that I found out about the active neighborhood. A few neighbors started Carter Riverside Neighborhood Association 25 years ago. The association has a larger number of households than most neighborhood associations. It is also different in the fact that the members consider all of Riverside their neighborhood and want to help everyone and include everyone in bettering Riverside as a whole.
Carter Riverside Census Breakdown
Total population: 5,449
Two or more races: 0%
0 to 9: 15%
10 to 19: 20%
20 to 29: 18%
30 to 39: 13%
40 to 49: 14%
50 to 59: 12%
60 to 69: 4%
70 to 79: 2%
Less than high school graduate: 47%
High school graduate (includes equivalency): 29%
Some college or associate’s degree: 15%
Associate’s degree: 6%
Bachelor’s degree or higher: 2%
Median earning (population 25 years and over): $55,523
Here, many neighborhoods have quiet, tree-lined roads. All of Riverside is not that quiet; it is full of businesses, churches and schools with little neighborhoods boxed in between major roads. Even with all of that, it is peaceful to drive down the residential roads seeing children play and parents watering the flowers or busily making their house a home.
The homes in the area were built from the 1910s to the 1960s. We were lucky we had no damage during Snowmageddon because our homes were rebuilt and well-insulated. I have seen a 1930s map with my street on it. There are some large and beautiful homes built by influential business owners in the 1940s. It was a time when who designed your home was a thing to brag about.
I think this is the reason for the many varieties of homes. There are grand homes with huge yards so spectacular they have been on Garden Tours. Some homes built in the 1920s are simple and functional with a lot of doors and windows because there was no air conditioning then. My favorite homes are the bungalows with spacious porches.
We spend a lot of time on our front porch. We talk to neighbors when they stop and always get a wave. We have lived in Riverside for almost 20 years and have good memories of the kids growing up and now grandchildren. In the past, we had to leave Riverside to have fun, but now everything is right here.
We ride bikes on the Trinity Trails, kayak and paddleboard on the river, and play sand volleyball at the park. The Trinity River Vision has been slow to emerge, but the Riverside area has become a safe and fun place to enjoy the outdoors. The neighborhood is active with Fourth of July parades, National Night Out Block Parties, holiday gatherings and Citizens On Patrol. Sadly, the original owners of the homes move on. But new neighbors move in, and the neighborhood just gets better and better.
A native Fort Worthian, Juda York has been a realtor at Ready Real Estate in Fort Worth for over 32 years. She studied business, management, marketing and related support services at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.