By Katherine Ridenour
Life is sweet. I am blessed to live on the best street in the best neighborhood Fort Worth has to offer. Tucked away among grand, century-old trees, this area has everything. Character, incredible neighbors and proximity to so much of Fort Worth’s finest are just a few reasons why it’s easy to call Berkeley home.
I have been living in Berkeley for a decade. First residing on Glenco Terrace, only to move three years later to Chatburn Court. A little-known fact about Berkeley is that it’s rare to find homes available on the market, because when word spreads that someone is moving, someone from the neighborhood is already interested and invested. That’s exactly how our story played out. Before Chatburn became available to the public, we had a dear neighbor inform us that it was coming up for grabs. It’s very common to find people on their second, even third, house in Berkeley. Once they’re here, they don’t want to leave.
Chatburn Court has been an absolute dream come true. We were blessed to be able to add onto the existing home and customize it to exactly what our family of six needed. Thankfully, we were able to hold onto the charm of our 1926 home. It sits on a very busy cul-de-sac. This is so nice for all the children who live on the street. Ages range, but lots of little friends like to play in the court. The other families on the cul-de-sac are wonderful people, feeling more like family than just acquaintances. We enjoy each other’s company, sometimes untill the wee hours.
Sitting in the backyard of the nation’s top zoo, Berkeley is just miles from all the action. So much is within walking distance; it’s hard to get bored over here. Magnolia Avenue, WestBend, University Park Village and even the West 7th areas are a simple trip via walking or biking. Additionally, downtown Fort Worth and the Stockyards are a quick car trip.
Berkeley is surrounded by some pretty delectable food. To name a few, we have Tommy’s Hamburger Grill & Patio, Enchiladas Olé, Macaluso’s Italian Restaurant and Greek House Restaurant right down the road. You can literally have a taste of the world just minutes away!
Aesthetically speaking, Berkeley has everyone beat. The houses, while often updated, date back to the 1920s. Their antebellum style is rich with history. So much character is exposed down every street you turn. Every house is different, with its own story to tell. As mentioned above, there is an abundance of greenery and well-manicured lawns. This is a place where people take pride in their residence. Ornamental street lights are scattered throughout, making it a Berkeley staple, unique to our neighborhood.
As a whole, it means a lot to all of us to live here. We feel blessed by our surroundings daily. At any given time, the sidewalks are full of walkers, joggers, bikers. Friendly faces are all around. And should you need any sort of assistance with virtually anything, a neighbor always has your back.
Monthly events keep us all connected. We have garage sales, Pumpkins in the Park, Santa in the Park and multiple other events that bring the masses. Not only are these events a blast for the children, but the adults get to visit and catch up as well. Halloween in Berkeley is like none other. Many families from all over Fort Worth come over to celebrate this holiday right here in this neighborhood. Streets are closed off, making it a safe night for all. Costumes fill the streets and candy is in abundance. Every year we compare how many bags we each purchase for this incredible event.
We have a monthly publication, “The Poobah,” to keep us informed of all happenings, as well as shared recipes, new family spotlights and advertising. One of my favorite columns is the “Cheers” one. Neighbors can write in and thank one another for favors, or send in a compliment. Those are always a joy to read. We are our own little family over here and you can feel it. There’s something special in the air over here.
I can’t write about Berkeley and not mention sweet Lily B Clayton Elementary School. It’s truly the heart of our neighborhood. The school was actually the whole reason we desired to live in Berkeley. Lily B has been a huge part of our lives, having four kids to go through. It’s a top-notch school that just celebrated its Centennial. Like the houses over here, Lily B has its charm and traditions that run deep. I can’t say enough about this sweet school. Many students walk each morning and afternoon, and that is a rare sighting these days. What a privilege we have in that.
To live in Berkeley is to have it all. Have I persuaded you to visit? Possibly you’re looking to buy. Just let me know, and I will keep an ear out.
Katherine Ridenour is a 13-year resident of Berkeley Place. She spends her time freelance writing and acting as the Chaos Coordinator for her family of six.
Total population: 3,590
Female: 47% | Male: 53%
80 and older:1%
No degree: 2%
High school: 22%
Some college: 27%
Bachelor’s degree: 19%
Click on the link to view the schools’ Texas Education Agency ratings: