South Austin’s Bouldin Creek area has been known for many different things over the years. The neighborhood, which now stretches from the river to West Oltorf Street between South Congress Avenue and West Bouldin Creek, started as a discrete, isolated agricultural community. The construction of the Congress Avenue Bridge and a streetcar line in 1910 changed all that. The area has become a vibrant (and pricey) urban neighborhood, but it has maintained its eclectic charm and independent spirit along the way.
On Saturday, April 29, Preservation Austin will showcase the area’s rich history with a tour it has cleverly dubbed “Bouldin Years.” It will feature homes from different eras of the neighborhood’s history, from the early- to mid-20th century.
In addition, participants will visit three historic buildings on the campus of the Texas School for the Deaf, established in 1856, and learn about neighborhood landmarks related to Bouldin’s early African American and Mexican American communities, offering a rare opportunity to get a perspective on the neighborhood than one might get on a real-estate or design tour.
Below are some of the featured properties. You can get more information about the tour and tickets here.
↑ Bouldin Avenue Modern: With steel-framed windows and postwar millwork, this recently rehabbed 1951 home is a rare example of midcentury International Style design in Austin.
↑ West Annie Bungalow: Elevator operator Calvin Collier built this Craftsman bungalow in 1935. Rehabbed in 2015, its interior features exposed shiplap walls and original floors, a light-filled rear addition, and back yard with steel-framed chicken coops and artist studios.
↑ Texas School for the Deaf: TSD has been educating students and serving families since 1856. The 67.5 acre campus features numerous historic properties that speak to this long history, including a 1925 laundry building (now the Heritage Center) and the 1928 Clinger Gymnasium, both designed by lauded architects Giesecke & Harris. The tour will visit three buildings.
↑ Bouldin Avenue Craftsman: Built in 1936 and rehabbed in 2013, this Craftsman-style home features warm, vibrant interiors with original floors, historic woodwork, and the owner’s extensive art collection. Modern features include a spacious kitchen and attic loft with original bathtub.
↑ Millbrook: This architectural treasure was constructed as a grist mill in 1895. UT drama professors renovated the complex of limestone buildings in the 1940s, adding salvaged architectural remnants from demolished 19th century landmarks. The home, hidden from the street, overlooks a limestone bluff and ravine lush with plantings and stone pathways.