Austin Neighborhood Added to National Register

The Travis Heights-Fairview Park Historic District in Travis County was recently listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Texas Historical Commission (THC) assisted in the nomination of this property in recognition of its importance to the history of Austin and the State of Texas. Noted for its historical and architectural significance, the district joins other properties around the state with National Register status. 

The Travis Heights-Fairview Park Historic District is a large, primarily residential neighborhood in the north portion of South Austin. The 353-acre district includes over 1,300 properties, including single and multi-family dwellings, garage apartments, churches, Big Stacy and Little Stacy parks, and the Blunn Creek Greenbelt. Nearly half of the buildings were constructed in the 1920s and 1930s, and the district conveys a strong sense of its development through its mature landscaping and the adaptation of early suburban streetscape patterns to a challenging terrain. 

The boundaries generally mirror the original Swisher’s Addition, Fairview Park and Travis Heights subdivisions, platted and promoted for their scenic and natural beauty, which is evident in winding streets and hilltop homesites. South Austin was sparsely settled with scattered homesteads through most of the 19th century, but its proximity to downtown spurred development, ultimately becoming a middle- and working-class neighborhood with a higher concentration of modest Craftsman bungalows and Minimal Traditional houses than mansions or estates. 

The district was listed in the National Register for its representation of significant late-nineteenth and early twentieth century neighborhood development patterns, beginning with the garden suburb movement, followed by streetcar and automobile suburbs designed to meet the transportation needs of commuters. The district was also listed in recognition of its architectural significance for the hundreds of houses built following popular architectural styles, including Queen Anne, Folk Victorian, Craftsman, Tudor Revival, and Ranch Style.  

The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of cultural resources deemed worthy of preservation, including nearly 3,4000 listings throughout Texas. Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register is part of a federal program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect the country’s historic and archeological resources.   

Listing in the National Register affords properties a measure of protection from the possible impact of federally funded projects, as well as access to technical expertise and grant funds to facilitate their restoration and preservation. Income-producing properties are also eligible for federal tax benefits for sympathetic rehabilitation work. 

To learn more about the National Register of Historic Places, contact the THC’s History Programs Division at 512-463-5853 or visit thc.texas.gov. 

 

 

8/19/21