Norwood Village has quite a history. The land was originally purchased in the late 1940s by a veteran’s group hoping to build affordable housing for returning World War II servicemen and their families. (Hard to imagine now, but both Seattle and the Eastside had a housing shortage after the war. The subsequent post-war building boom is a big reason why Seattle and Bellevue both have a large inventory of mid-century Modern.)
SIXTY YEARS MOD
The Norwood Village Corporation was established in 1951. To this day, if you buy a home in the Village, you automatically become a member of the corporation. In fact, this year Norwood Villagers had an outdoor neighborhood party to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of their community. Today, Norwood Village is part of the City of Bellevue, but the corporation still owns ten common areas—including the Norwood Community Pool, four greenbelts, and several other green spaces.
So what’s to like about Norwood Village? Lots. For one thing, it has a reputation as a friendly, stable hamlet of single-family dwellings where neighbors look out for each other. People who buy into the village often stay for decades. For another, it has a rural feel. There are no sidewalks, but there are several greenbelts that provide habitat for birds and other wildlife. Many of Norwood Village’s stylish homes have mountain and/or territorial views.
Norwood Village residences vary from nicely maintained mid-century Modern to the occasional eye-popping mid-century or contemporary Modern gem. Several houses here were designed in the early ’50s by Northwest Modernist architects Paul Hayden Kirk and Fred Bassetti.
Yards are big and have mature landscaping. Exterior building materials include wood siding, brick, and horizontal flagstone. Some homes have those cool, thin vertical wood slats that really help define a mid-century aesthetic.
PARK AND POOL
Norwood Village Park is a public facility, maintained by the City of Bellevue. This well-groomed woodsy park has a broad rolling lawn, picnic tables, tennis courts, and shiny blue play structures. The Norwood Community Pool is right next door to the park. The outdoor community pool operates May to September. Membership is open to all residents of the Woodridge Hill area. In 2011 a new family membership cost $550; a returning family membership was $450.
Most homes have two-car garages, and there’s plenty of street parking. Another plus is the lack of traffic: Because Norwood Village is a residential area with twisty streets, cul-de-sacs, and a few dead-ends, there’s really no cut-through driving. Consequently, traffic volume is low.
By the way, Norwood Village is centrally located, with easy access to both I-90 and 405. It’s not far from Mercer Slough Park. And despite its rural feel, it’s less than ten minutes to Downtown Bellevue, only about five minutes to Factoria Mall.