Community spirit led to a unique swimming facility which now has one wading pool, two full-sized pools, shuffleboard and basketball courts. Security patrol, garden club, community newspaper, and a baby-sitting co-op represent some of the ways that people help to create a community in which we take pride and enjoy.
The Civic Association was founded in 1957 to foster community improvements and enhance life in Green Acres. The first officers were Jack Calhoun, President and P.I. Poindexter, Secretary.
Green Acres got its name because of the trees that covered the land. The trees helped give the development its special character – described by one resident as “a kind of rustic charm”. Such care was taken by the builders to preserve as much of the woods as possible that many of the original owners found themselves faced with land-clearing chores rather than the landscaping work more common to brand new home owners. Many did plant flowers trees and shrubs of all varieties that prospered and added to the general lushness.
As the fourth family to move into the development in 1955, Mr. and Mrs. John Van Brunt of 1232 Grinnell can remember unpaved roads, but most of Green Acres never had the naked look typical of new settlements. Louis Strauss of 1416 Athens Road has home movies of his early days in Green Acres which illustrate the point.
The sharp contrast with the traditional character of most construction in the Wilmington area at the time (and today for that matter), the design of the Green Acres houses was excitingly innovative. The intriguing and spacious model homes were a major factor in the choice of a Green Acres address for the original owners. One of the models had even been featured in Architectural Forum because of the large amount of space per dollar. Another unusual feature of the early Green Acres was the use of an “exterior decorator” who chose colors for the outsides of the homes so that they presented a harmonious front. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Akell of 1506 Fresno Road continued their original aqua color scheme until the paint was no longer available. They suggest that the striking diversity of the exteriors in the community can probably be attributed in part to the influence of the original decorator.
It took more than four years for all the buildings to be completed. From the first settlement on Grinnell, Quincy, Oberlin and Newcomb, the houses extended eastward on Athens, toward Tulane. A new model, the Cambridge, slightly less contemporary, became prominent and turned up in great numbers on Bucknell, Carson, Drake and Emory. The final total is 376 homes.
Another special feature of Green Acres, quite a novelty at the time, was a swimming pool. The construction of the first pool had proven such a success that a second one was begun for the residents who hadn’t joined the first pool before the membership quota was filled. Until the membership of the two pools merged, Pool I and Pool II were strictly separate with the members of one forbidden to swim in the other.
The eventual blending of the memberships symbolized in a small way the happy blending of different nationalities, races, religious, ages and interests into one community. Some of the early residents say that the community has become increasingly cosmopolitan over the years, and they are delighted with the diversity.
Though there have been many changes in the surrounding area, the original owners’ great liking for their community has helped make it what it is – a special place with a lively population graced by the natural beauty that gave it its name.
The many acres of this community were originally covered with trees, shrub,s and greens, which inspired the builders to name it Green Acres, as H.L. Weinstein (1222 Grinnell), one of the builders, told us.
The streets, which run alphabetically starting with Athens closest to Silverside, were named after American senior colleges. Most of them were founded in the 19th century.
|ATHENS COLLEGE||Athens, Alabama||1822|
|BUCKNELL UNIVERSITY||Lewisburg, Pennsylvania||1846|
|CARSON-NEWMAN COLLEGE||Jefferson City, Tennessee||1851|
|DRAKE UNIVERSITY||Des Moines, Iowa||1881|
|EMORY UNIVERSITY||Atlanta, Georgia||1836|
|FRESNO STATE COLLEGE||Fresno, California||1911|
|GRINNELL COLLEGE||Grinnell, Iowa||1846|
|NEWCOMB WOMEN’S COLLEGE||New Orleans, Louisiana||1886|
|OBERLIN COLLEGE||Oberlin, Ohio||1833|
|QUINCY COLLEGE||Quincy, Illinois||1859|
|RADFORD WOMEN’S COLLEGE||Radford, Virginia||1910|
|STANFORD UNIVERSITY||Stanford, California||1891|
|TULANE UNIVERSITY||New Orleans, Louisiana||1834|