Woodlawn is only two blocks long, one to each side of Packard Street. The 900 block, west of Packard, is somewhat of a unique area - student rentals begin to dominate a block north, on Dewey Street, and the moderately yupscale Lower Burns Park neighborhood starts a block south, on Granger Street, but Woodlawn belongs to neither of these, and its eclectic architecture stands apart from the large historic homes a block in either direction.
One explanation heard for Woodlawn's neither-one-nor-the-other status is that, in the 1940s, the street was one of the few places in Ann Arbor where black families were legally allowed to own a home. A gap between established neighborhoods, the block was developed with whatever homes these residents could afford, with some homes still inhabited by the families that built them.
The 1000 block of Woodlawn, running north-east from Packard, is not so notable, appearing to be simply a peripheral part of the Burns Park neighborhood.
In the news
On Dec. 13, neighbors in and around Woodlawn Avenue, Wells Street, and Forest Avenue - just off Packard Street near Granger Avenue - gathered at the home of Christa and John Williams. The event was partly a holiday celebration, but also a lively, informal opportunity to see their newly completed sun room on the north side of the house (also known in Ann Arbor as the Eberbach House). My wife and I live on the south side of Wells and had heard and seen construction activities during recent months over our backyard fence.
- Old Ann Arbor neighbors gather to reminisce about black neighborhoods of the 1940s and '50s, Ann Arbor News, August 2008
The Old Neighborhood area included the northern end of Fourth and Fifth avenues, along with nearby Beakes and Kingsley streets. The area stretched west, out along Summit Street, to Spring, Gott and Miner streets on the other side of Main Street. It also included Broadway Street, along with several isolated stretches such as Woodlawn Avenue off Packard Street near Burns Park.
Woodlawn, City of Ann Arbor Assessor