Highland Park was platted in 1891 in what was known as Reynold’s meadows. It was Lafayette’s first planned subdivision, with winding brick streets and avenues and a park known as the Highland Park Triangle, used for picnics and gatherings, but mainly used by youngsters for neighborhood baseball and football games.
Highland Park Neighborhood’s advertising featured “no alleys, the best improvements, views overlooking the entire city, perfect drainage, most desirable building location in the city, fifteen minutes walk from the courthouse, a healthy place to live, elegant avenues, beautiful cement walks, all streets handsomely-paved; electric street cars making seven minute runs from courthouse every fifteen minutes to the park; no shoddy building–all substantial, fine residences at moderate prices and good terms, and beautiful playgrounds for children.”
When Highland Park Neighborhood was platted, plans included leaving trees growing, with lots and houses planned around nature. A large ravine, known as Glenway Lane, was a part of the original subdivision layout, which had 136 building lots. Their frontage owing to the curving and circular street designs and pie shaped lot configurations, varied from 75 to 130 feet.
Original boundaries of Highland Park Neighborhood were from the south side of Kossuth Street to the north side of Owen Street, and from the west side of South 9th Street to the east end (back lot line) ofthe lots on 5th Street A southern addition to Highland Park Neighborhood, Highland Park Addition II, was added in 1893, extending the south border to the north side of Cherokee Avenue and adding an extra 28 lots. The corner of Owen, Highland, and Cherokee was reserved as a building site for a public school.
The Lafayette Country Club and its 18-hole golf course is situated on the south side of Cherokee Avenue, stretching south six blocks, between South 9th Street and the back lot lines of the east side of 5th Street, providing an effective barrier on the south edge of the district.
The unusual street configuration provides for views which often include sides of porches or houses along with main elevations. Through streets are straight, while interior streets take on the curvilinear designs which give Highland Park its distinct character. Architectural styles range from large, turn ofthe century Queen Anne houses to middle class bungalows. A few houses have been been built after World War II in the ranch house mode. All buildings but one are I residential (Highland School) and all but a very few are single family dwellings. Wood frame construction is predominant, however, brick, stucco, and a variety of other materials are present.