Morningside / Lenox Park
Mention “Morningside” and the idea that may leap to mind is the charming housing stock of classic brick Tudors that date to the 1920s and ’30s. The next may be the farmers market, one of the first in town that draws shoppers to the commercial district around University Drive and North Highland every Saturday year-round. Another is the neighborhood school, Morningside Elementary, which opened in 1929 and continues to be one of the mostcoveted schools in the city system. “This is a true neighborhood school with a strong sense of community,” says Michelle Constantinides, a 20-year resident and president of the 500-member Morningside PTA. “It’s also one of the best schools in the state. The majority of families could choose where they send their children, but they’ve invested in the neighborhood school. It’s one of the things that’s driven up prices; you can’t find a fixer-upper bungalow now for less than $600,000.” Religious education was behind one local landmark, the Rock Springs Presbyterian at the corner of Piedmont and Rock Springs roads. Founded in 1868, the church drew families whose names—Cheshire, Luckie, Plaster—are now part of the city’s fabric. Today, the neighborhood association pulls in the area’s original developments: Morningside, Lenox Park, University Park, Noble Park, Johnson Estates and Hylan Park.
Two vibrant commercial districts call the neighborhood home. In the Piedmont Avenue – Cheshire Bridge corridor is a recently opened Sprouts market that anchors a new mixed-use development of apartments and shops. Along Cheshire Bridge are some of the city’s long-time favorite dining spots: The Colonnade (cash only!), Red Snapper and the original Taqueria del Sol. The northern stretch of Highland Avenue is home to Alon’s, the food emporium filled with gourmet treats and meals to go. Nearby is the Original El Taco, the Family Dog pub, Fat Matt’s Rib Shack and Morningside Kitchen, a new project by local chef Tom Murphy.