The area belonged to the William and Hannah Neil farm, part of which was given to their daughter, Elizabeth J. McMillen. Once the northern edge of Columbus, the founding of the Ohio Agricultural & Mechanical College in 1870 combined with the extension of the Columbus Street Railway Company’s streetcar line along Neil Avenue to drive the demand for residential development in the area, which began in the 1890s and continued into the 1920s. As a result of their proximity to the trolley line, the lots along Neil Avenue were developed first.
Early residents included middle-class families, small business owners, and college professors. The variety found within the Homestead Addition ranged from elaborate, prestigious homes to simpler, classic motifs and grew out of the diversity of income levels of residents and changes in building styles over four decades of construction. Now part of the Near North Side Historic District, NECKO is recognized as significant for its eclectic architectural styling and unique neighborhood layout.