West Calhoun is a neighborhood in Minneapolis situated on the western edge of the city in the community of Calhoun-Isles. It is bounded by Lake Street, France Avenue, 36th Street and Lake Calhoun. Lake Calhoun has undergone through a number of changes in its name. In fact, some people in Dakota called it Mde Ma-ka-ska which literally means the Lake of the White Earth. The reason behind this is the sandy north shore of the lake. Soon after, the early Europeans renamed it with Medoza which is another name in Dakota that means loon.
Its current name was derived from early surveyors who in 1817 mapped the western lands. It was named after John Calhoun who at the time was the secretary of war. He was also a vice president, secretary of state, senator and congressman.
Lake Calhoun was bordered by the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway and Minikahda Club, the oldest country club in the city which occupies the southern and western sections of West Calhoun.
In 1975, the Bakken Museum was founded by Earl E. Bakken who invented the first transistorized cardiac pacemaker. This museum was established to study magnetism and electricity. It has a research library holding 11,000 rare books and around 2,500 scientific instruments which related to the role in life of electricity.
The average size of household in the neighborhood has been consistently low between 1980 and 2000. Its total number of households had an increase of 20% between the same years. The largest household type in the neighborhood throughout the period was households of individual living alone and under 65 years of age which increased 40% between 1980 and 200% becoming 50% of households in 2000.
The neighborhood had 216 units in 2000 than in 1980. Its vacancy rate has peaked at 9.8% in 1990. Housing units occupied by renters are predominant in the neighborhood. However, their proportion to home ownership has been decreased.
The percentage of families that live in family and families with children that lived in poverty was significantly lower in West Calhoun than other neighborhoods in the city from 1979 to 1999. As a matter of fact, it was during this period when none of the families with children living there lived below the poverty level.
The population in West Calhoun increased almost 17% between 1980 and 2000. The population was younger in year 2000 than in 1980. The child and adult population of the neighborhood increased 10% and 34% respectively while the population of seniors particularly those between the ages 65 and 84 was reduced by 45 percent.
The beautiful neighborhood of West Calhoun includes the stunning northern shoreline of Lake Calhoun, the surrounding businesses and shopping districts of the lively Calhoun Commons and various residential buildings and homes. It is divided by the Midtown Greenway, offering a path for biking which extends to the Mississippi River and links to paths going into downtown Minneapolis. The bus service of the neighborhood is available on Lake Street into the suburbs and downtown. There are plenty of mature trees that can be found in the neighborhood particularly in the area closest to the lake.
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