The Michigan Daily will be exploring Ann Arbor’s most quirky, lively, and student populated neighborhoods during the next month to see what makes this city tick. Starting with the North Ingalls and Old Fourth Ward areas, keep checking back for more installments of our series on Ann Arbor’s neighborhoods.
When students venture north of the Diag, they stumble upon Old Fourth Ward and North Ingalls, two of Ann Arbor’s 11 thriving, unofficial neighborhoods. Spread throughout the city, each area possesses different characteristics, attractions and features.
Old Fourth Ward stretches between Fifth Avenue and State Street and spans north to Beakes Street. To the east, North Ingalls is nestled behind Rackham Graduate School and lies directly north of Central Campus.
Both neighborhoods are known for their proximity to Ann Arbor’s Main Street area and historic Kerrytown Market.
Ann Arbor was first settled in the Old Fourth Ward and it is one of the city’s first residential areas. Today, it is home to students, professors and Ann Arbor natives.
LSA junior Karuna Mizusaki lived in Old Fourth Ward last semester. She said she and her housemates moved to the area for the cheaper rent and its proximity to Main Street.
“You really get to experience Ann Arbor as a city and you also can be a part of student life on South University,” Mizusaki said. “My friends and I always went to find the cool restaurants and go to a bunch of the little stores on Main Street because they were so close.”
While the rent prices average $4,400 a month for a larger-sized house, there are many apartments and houses in the area that are both smaller and cheaper. The neighborhood also houses several co-ops, which provide students cheaper housing compared to other available residential options in the area.
The blue and purple neighboring co-op houses, dubbed Michigan and Minnie, provide students a communal living experience in which all residents help cook, clean and take care of the house.
Many students also live in the neighborhood for its close vicinity to the many unique boutiques, restaurants, bars and coffee shops on Main Street and in Kerrytown.
Engineering senior Daniel Lao said he believes the neighborhood provides something for everyone.
“It’s really close to a variety of different stores, from restaurants to stores where you can buy clothing to stationary,” Lao said. “You can really find whatever you want.”
Part of the original village of Ann Arbor, the nearby Kerrytown marketplace was named after County Kerry, Ireland. It is home to the nationally renowned Zingerman’s Deli, as well as the city’s farmers market, the Ann Arbor Artisans’ Market, the Kerrytown Concert House and a plethora of antique stores.
Art & Design senior Grace Ludmer said the community is unique for its many artistic and musical opportunities.
“There are lots of local performances or parties with live music, which is pretty cool,” Ludmer said. “South Campus doesn’t have as close of an artistic community.”
North Ingalls is another unofficial neighborhood located north of Central Campus. Similar to Old Fourth Ward, the area is also coveted for its proximity to campus, as well as to the same shopping and eating attractions. The neighborhood is almost completely comprised of student residences.
Engineering senior Steve Nemeth said he chose to live in the area because of its good reputation, decent prices and housing availability. However, he said the five to 10 minute walk to campus is sometimes difficult in the winter.
Depending on where in the neighborhood students reside, the area is also predominantly known for its proximity to the Medical School campus. The North Ingalls neighborhood is convenient for students going to the University hospitals, science buildings or the Nursing School.
“Here on the Huron side, we really have it all: a three minute walk to class, four minutes to State Street and five minutes to the CCRB,” LSA junior Caron Lindsay wrote in an e-mail interview. “I brought my car originally to campus, but I’ve found I don’t even need it for groceries since there are AATA and BlueBus stops all around.”
Lindsay also said she felt the neighborhood is both safe and affordable.
“This area just seems to encompass everything I need, while still providing affordable rent and convenience,” Lindsay wrote.
Both Old Fourth Ward and North Ingalls come with their drawbacks as well. Though neither have many safety concerns, Old Fourth Ward is a popular location for noise complaints, according to the Crime Watcher app powered by the Ann Arbor Police Department.
Because of North Ingalls’ proximity the hospitals, sirens sometimes disturb students living in the area.
“Noise pollution from cars, trucks and pedestrian traffic sometimes bleed through and cause issues while studying or sleeping,” Lindsay said.
While the area houses many members of the University community, Mizusaki said she would prefer if more undergraduate students lived in the neighborhood. The northern region of Old Fourth Ward is also heavily populated with Ann Arbor permanent residents and families with children attending local public schools.
“We have tons of medical, nursing, dental and research students as our neighbors because of our close proximity to Rackham and the respective graduate schools,” Lindsay said. “But there are definitely the undergrads around, and they know how to have a good time in a great neighborhood.”
Correction appended: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified Steve Nemeth as a sophomore. He is a senior.