Hidden In Plain Sight, the 600 Block of Kenilworth Street

It's always been an odd block
Mr. Fox

If you're walking up 7th Street between Fitzwater and Bainbridge, you might notice an odd sight on the eastern side of the street. 715 S. 7th St. is a home with no front door. In fact, as far as you can tell from the street, it doesn't have any first floor at all.

View on 7th Street

This property has a long tunnel in place of a first floor, one that's wide enough for a car to pass through even if cars are parallel parked on one side. But you can see there's some bright light on the other side.

Peeking under the carriage house

Once you emerge from the tunnel, you'll find yourself on the lovely and well hidden 600 block of Kenilworth Street.

600 block of Kenilworth!

We confess, we don't know exactly how this came to pass, but doing a little research we think we found some answers. Looking at historic maps, it's clear that 715 S. 7th St. always closed off Kenilworth Street, though it looks like an alley continued the street way back at the beginning of the 20th century. We believe that most of the homes on this block were built around 1980 as the Kenilworth Mews project, including the carriage house on 7th Street which has an entrance on Kenilworth. This project also included a parking lot around the corner on Bainbridge Street which we always wondered about.

Parking lot, viewed from the 600 block of Bainbridge

Of late, we've found ourselves on some other off the beaten path blocks in this part of town, like a couple weeks ago when we discovered the 700 block of S. Reese Street. Are there other hidden blocks around here that we haven't covered that you particularly appreciate?

Also, if anyone out there has any addition insight into how the Kenilworth Mews homes came to pass and how the developers decided on the massive carriage house on 7th Street, we'd love to learn more.