Old West Austin is a historic, centrally located neighborhood just north of Lady Bird Lake and just west of downtown. The neighborhood’s historic district dates back to the mid-1800s, shortly after the city of Austin was incorporated. The neighborhood is one of the most sought-after to live in, because of its convenient location and access to many amenities, including the lake, local hike and bike trails, and several parks.
Along with local shops and restaurants the neighborhood is adjacent to the numerous dining, shopping, and entertainment options offered by downtown and south Austin. Parking is next to impossible here, but public transportation is readily accessible.
Old West Austin’s unique character, livability, and central location make it one of the city’s top neighborhoods to live in.
Old West Austin is one of Austin's oldest neighborhoods, dating back to the early days of the city, when Texas Governor Elisha Pease sold off some of his plantation
land to former slaves who built homes there. The north section of Old West Austin is called Clarksville, after Charles Clark, a
freed slave who started the community named in his honor.
The American Planning Association named Old West Austin one of the ten greatest neighborhoods in America, because of the diversity and character of the neighborhood and residents’ active role in maintaining the neighborhood’s appearance. The National Register of Historic Places also added the neighborhood because of the many well-maintained early- to mid-20th Century homes here.
A local “anti-McMansion” ordinance restricts house sizes and prevents housing prices from getting out of hand. Additionally, local organizations are dedicated to maintaining property values and the overall neighborhood environment. One of their priorities is to prevent historic homes in the area from being torn down for commercial use.
The neighborhood is just north of the lake, providing opportunities for boating and fishing. Alongside the lake is a 10-mile hike and bike trail that is popular with Austinites.
There are parks nearby with basketball and tennis courts, a multipurpose field, picnic tables, a playground, and a pool. There is also an off-leash dog area well-maintained by the local Canine Social Club. Just west of the neighborhood are Zilker Park and Barton Creek Greenbelt, two popular sites for hiking, biking, and outdoor recreation.
Residents can choose from a wide variety of restaurants, bars, and cafes lining the borders of the neighborhood. The neighborhood is also within walking distance of the abundant entertainment, dining, and nightlife of south Congress and downtown.
Despite its proximity to downtown, Old West Austin is a relatively safe and fairly quiet neighborhood with a range of ages and ethnic groups. It’s attractive for singles, young couples, and families.Neighborhood Association Website
Views From the Street
|W. 9th St. and Winflo Dr.||W. Elm St.||W. 9th st. and W. Lynn St.|
|Highland Ave.||W. 5th St. and Lamar Blvd.||Blanco St.|
|W. 6th St. and Baylor St.|
Facts and Figures
Real Estate and Apartments
Old West Austin has a variety of homes, in a variety of architectural styles, mostly older but well maintained with historic charm. There are many bungalow-type homes built in the early 20th century as well as modern and period condominiums and some of Austin’s loveliest Victorian homes in the neighborhood. Expect to pay a premium for living here. An 800-square-foot bungalow can cost $300K, and a large home over $1 million. The average price is over $500K. Condos are more affordable, and there are some affordable housing units for low-income families. Homes here tend to sell quickly.