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    The Historic Duckpond Neighborhood Gainesville's oldest neighborhood

    Welcome to the Duckpond!

    Old Florida charm, walkability, peace and quiet, and proximity to downtown. These are just a few of the qualities that make Gainesville’s oldest neighborhood a desirable place to live.

    Lovingly maintained historically designated homes are situated along cozy streets shaded by live oaks. Architecturally speaking, the homes range from small bungalows to Queen Anne style Victorians with elaborate woodwork, some of which have been converted into multifamily apartments.

    The average sale price in 2020 was in the mid $300k range, with larger historic homes going for $400k – $500k and up.

    The Thomas Center is the crown jewel of the Duck Pond district. Set in an elegantly cultivated park, the beautifully restored Renaissance-revival hotel serves the needs of local businesses and plays hosts to events. It’s also a popular place to picnic, walk the dog and bump into your neighbors.

    View of the Thomas Center from the gardens. Photo by LaggedOnUser | Flickr

    What’s It Like Living in the Duckpond?

    The Duckpond is a friendly, safe neighborhood where folks smile and wave at each other, children play outside, and people bike to and from downtown. It’s a traditional suburban residential neighborhood in the sense that you have to get in the car or hop on your bike for most trips, but it’s super close to Downtown and the Grove Street area to the west and northwest. Between these two adjacent neighborhoods you have lots of options for dining, drinks, convenience stores, and food shopping.

    The Grove Street farmer’s market (which absorbed many vendors after the pandemic shut down the farmer’s market at Bo Diddley plaza) happens every Monday between 4 and 7.

    Another feature of the neighborhood that sets it apart from a traditional suburban neighborhood is that the majority of its residents are renters, owing to the large student population. Students who live in the Duckpond tend to be in graduate programs. The neighborhood is quiet at night.

    From the Duckpond you have easy access to the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail, which wends its way through downtown and East Gainesville before it passes through Payne’s Prairie (the state’s first nature preserve) on the way to Hawthorne. If you’re interested in learning more about connecting with nature in town, check out our post on the Best Walking Trails in Gainesville.

    Where Does the Name Come From?

    The neighborhood gets its namesake from Sweetwater Branch Creek, which yes, is home to many ducks, and flows through the center of the neighborhood.

    In addition to the ducks, many cats call the Duckpond home. You’ll find them lounging on wraparound porches, car roofs, and pretty much anywhere else they well please. A cat lover created an Instagram account to document their reign.

    “I’m totally invisible.” Photo: Lia d’Agostino

    Duckpond Public School Zoning

    Elementary Schools:

    • Metcalfe Elementary
    • Alachua Learning Academy Elementary School
    • Expressions Learning Arts Academy

    Middle Schools:

    • Kanapaha Middle School
    • Professional Academy Magnet at Loften High School
    • Alachua Learning Academy Middle

    High Schools:

    • Eastside High School
    • Gainesville High School

    Final Thoughts

    For the last word on the Duckpond, we’ll leave it to Lauren Groff, critically acclaimed author of Fates and Furies and Gainesville transplant:

    “Because it’s true: more than the highlights, the bright events, it was in the small and the daily where she’d found life.”

    Get In Touch with a Knowledgeable Realtor at Rabell

    Interested in house or apartment shopping in the Duckpond? Talk to your realtor at Rabell today to find out what’s available.