Manuscript census schedules are the original forms on which census enumerators recorded information on households and residents. These manuscript schedules are kept confidential for 72 years, after which point the National Archives and Records Administration makes them available to the public. Because these records give precise information on residents, these manuscript census schedules are valuable sources for historical research.
Ancestry.com is a useful tool for accessing census schedules. Unfortunately for researchers of cities, it was designed primarily for genealogists, and therefore is much easier to search by name of resident rather than location of residence. In order to research your neighborhood of interest:
Although individual-level census records are kept confidential for 72 years, the Census Bureau does provide access to a sample of anonymized records from the decennial census and the ACS called the Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS). PUMS allows researchers to make custom tabulations not available in the standard summary files. The main limitation is that PUMS have limited geographic detail; the smallest geographic unit available is the Public Use Microdata Area, or PUMA, designed to contain 100,000 residents.