Photo courtesy of David E. Hollingsworth
When you think about Austin as it is today, it's hard to imagine that this thriving metropolis was once a tiny city just 14 blocks long. While the Austin landscape has changed since the 1800s, it is still home to historical landmarks that remind Austinites of the city's past. We've provided a little bit of the history of six neighborhoods in Austin that date back to the late 1800s, including Hyde Park, Travis Heights, Clarksville, Pemberton Heights, Bryker Woods and Old Enfield. You'll find some of Austin's most magnificent homes and beautiful scenery in these neighborhoods. Read on to learn more about Austin's most historic neighborhoods:
Hyde Park- Established in 1891, Hyde Park in Central Austin is one of the city’s oldest suburbs. Founder Monroe Martin Shipe originally intended the neighborhood to be a community for Austin’s elite. However, slow sales forced Shipe to redirect his marketing efforts to the middle class. As a result, home styles in Hyde Park range from majestic estates to charming, turn of-the-century bungalows. Hyde Park was declared a local historic district in 2010. Today, the neighborhood is one of the most popular in the area for its quiet streets and close proximity to downtown Austin. To learn more, check out our Hyde Park neighborhood profile or click here to search Hyde Park homes for sale.
Clarksville- Dating back to the 1870s, Clarksville is one of the three neighborhoods that make up the Old West Austin historic district. It is also registered individually in the National Register of Historic Places. Clarksville was established when Governor Elisha Pease gave a portion of his large plantation to a group of his former slaves in the 1860s. It became one of the first freedman’s colony established west of the Mississippi. Although most of the original homes in the area have been replaced with today’s modern bungalows and condos, the tight-knit community atmosphere established all those years ago is still strong. To learn more, check out our Clarksville neighborhood profile or click here to search Clarksville homes for sale.
Old Enfield- Named for the original Connecticut home of Governor Marshall Pease, Old Enfield was established in 1910. The acreage used to create the new neighborhood was originally part of the governor’s Woodlawn estate. Since its creation, Old Enfield has been home to four governors, two mayors, prominent figures at the University of Texas and top city leaders. Many families have been privileged to call Old Enfield home for generations. Old Enfield became part of the Old West Austin National Historic District in 2003. Today, modern bungalows and condos sit side by side with historic homes and estates. To learn more, check out our Old Enfield neighborhood profile or click here to search Old Enfield homes for sale.
Pemberton Heights- Pemberton Heights is also part of the Old West Austin National Historic District. Homeowners here have fought hard to preserve the original charm and history of their neighborhood. The land that makes up Pemberton Heights was originally farmland owned by Attorney General John Woods Harris in the 1800s. In the 1920s, the Austin Land Company built a bridge connecting the new subdivision to downtown Austin over Shoal Creek. Since then it has attracted prominent Austin citizens and successful professionals. Pemberton Heights is even home to its own castle (which is rumored to be haunted!). To learn more, check out our Pemberton Heights neighborhood profile or click here to search Pemberton Heights homes for sale.
Bryker Woods- Although the name of the neighborhood as Bryker Woods wasn’t official until the 1930s, the smaller neighborhoods that make up the community were established as early as 1910. Like Pemberton Heights, bridges were built across Shoal Creek to connect Bryker Woods to downtown Austin and the University of Texas. Many of the same cottages and bungalows that were built in the 1900s still exist alongside the modern homes in Bryker Woods. Bryker Woods has seen the most urbanization in the area, with many local businesses and popular restaurants lining the streets. However, a tight-knit sense of community still exists among residents. To learn more, check out our Bryker Woods neighborhood profile or click here to see Bryker Woods homes for sale.
Travis Heights- Travis Heights was one of the first subdivisions in Austin to be built south of the Colorado River. Charles Newning and William H. Stacy purchased the 200 acres that would become Travis Heights in 1880. Although it was originally conceived to be a luxurious retreat for the wealthy, most of the development in Travis Heights took off when homes were built for the middle class in the 1920s. Historic bungalows and grand estates still line the tree-filled streets, while others have been remodeled with modern designs. Residents in Travis Heights are dedicated to preserving the historical charm of their community. To learn more, check out our Travis Heights neighborhood profile or click here to see Travis Heights homes for sale.