This year marks the first time that Park Circle takes top honors for Best Neighborhood, a category that has been traded by Avondale and Old Village Mt. Pleasant since 2011. Park Circle’s ascendance among City Paper readers may be new, but the community abutting the old Charleston Naval Base has been coming into its own for more than a century now. Built in the style sprung from the idyllic “Garden City” principle of early 20th century urban planning, the plans for Park Circle were first drawn up in the 1910s, with development continuing into the 1950s as the local military presence grew.
Today, the bones of the original plan remain, with most commercial activity rooted at the end of East Montague Avenue. There, residents and visitors can take advantage of a growing base of local businesses including The Station, a funky flea on Spruill Avenue; bars and restaurants including EVO Pizza and Stems & Skins; and even a production brewery (Commonhouse Aleworks) and a tasting room for Ship’s Wheel Hard Cider coming this summer. Sound like your kind of place? Better act fast as property values for even those fixer-uppers continue to climb. —Sam Spence
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