One of the oldest neighborhoods in Austin, Travis Heights is known today as a leafy, quiet enclave full of huge shade trees and a mix of housing styles and sizes—now quite pricey due to both its charm and its location just south of the river.
This small home, built in 1930, gives a glimpse into how the neighborhood got that way. According to its current owners, neighbors say the house was one of those built to house teachers at a boys’ academy, which gave Academy Drive its name.
The house is emblematic of the neighborhood’s development in other ways. Developers Charles Newning, William H. Stacy, and George Warner originally purchased 200 acres just east of South Congress Avenue in the late 1800s. It was originally called Fairview, because of the views its hilly landscape provided, and comprised mostly large homes for Austin’s wealthier citizens.
In 1913, Stacy (namesake of the neighborhood’s parks and pool) developed the area east of Fairview Park, building smaller homes for a less monied populace—presumably, like this one, meant to house those who worked in some capacity for the occupants of the larger homes to their west.
The 843-square-foot house has two bedrooms and one bathroom. It is on a lot with a similar house, which are now detached condos.
The home speaks to the natural history of the landscape, as well. It’s about a quarter of a mile from Blunn Creek and Little Stacy Park, companion to Big Stacy Park, both established around 1930. The house is surrounded by the lush foliage and towering trees typical of the neighborhood.
• 1301 Bickler Road [Jane and Erin Team, Realty Austin]
A quarter of a mile walk from 1301 Bickler, over a foot bridge which crosses Blunn Creek, is the historic Stacy Park. Little Stacy Park was purchased by the City of Austin for $17,150 from the Stacy Realty Company in 1929. The addition of Little Stacy Park, Big Stacy park in the late 1930’s, and Blunn Creek Greenbelt make the neighborhood lush and magical.