Often defined as any area east of IH 35, East Austin is an eclectic mix of historic homes, recent condominium projects, quaint neighborhoods, and mostly affordable housing. Geographically, the boundaries are Town Lake on the south, Interstate 35 on the west, Parmer Lane on the north, and Decker Lake Road on the east, and while these quidelines are fluid depending on who you ask, this area certainly encompasses the heart and soul of the various communities. There are a large number of neighborhoods within these boundaries including: Cherrywood, French Place, Wilshire Wood, University Hills, Windsor Park, Harris Branch, Walnut Creek, Swede Hill, Austin Heights, Rosewood Village, Glen Oaks, Mueller, Blackland, Delwood I & II, McKinley Heights, Windsor Hills, and J. J. Seabrook to name a few. Except for the fact that the all these neighborhoods are located east of Interstate 35, they actually have little in common. They range from clusters of turn of the century homes with views of downtown and the capitol dome, to spacious ranch style homes on winding, tree shaded streets that feel more like the suburbs than inner city living. Yes, East Austin living is a hodge-podge of experiences, but it’s hardly ever boring!
East Austin Homes for Sale
East Austin History
Historically, East Austin was located outside the original boundaries of the city of Austin when it was laid out in the 1850s. The graceful hills overlooking the town that was sandwiched between East Avenue (now Interstate 35) and West Avenue with the Capitol building at the north and the river to the south were a beautiful setting for some of our most historic reminders of the early days of Texas as a Republic. The Texas State Cemetery, the French Legation, and the old Oakwood Cemetery are all located along the IH 35 corridor. The French Legation, arguably one of the oldest surviving buildings in Austin sat on 15 acres of land with a magnificent view of what would one day be the Capitol. Swede Hill, a small mount near 14th Street would soon be settled by Swedish settlers who would come to Austin to help build the community through the auspices of S.M. Swenson. And by the turn of the century, other fine homes would be built along this eastern corridor as their inhabitants enjoyed the same advantages of living close to downtown that are so valued by homeowners today. Development inched north and east as neighborhoods such as French Place was built in the 1930s and Wilshire Wood in the 1950s. Today, the area is a patchwork quilt of neighborhoods with a human gumbo of diversity.
East Austin Homes
The variety of homes in East Austin is so varied that it’s difficult to describe. There are turn of the century cottages on tiny lots that are squeezed between homes that might never be allowed under today’s home building codes, and there are large two-story bungalow-style homes that have been recently constructed to provide more housing in this popular area. Contemporary construction can be found next to historical homes, grand buildings next to modest ones, and expensive homes adjacent to almost affordable ones. The area was once extremely affordable for artist and bohemian types who sought out the area for studios because of the proliferation of nearby warehouses and inexpensive commercial properties. And while there are still many people seeking just such a setting for a combination of work and living, prices are being driven up with demand. Condominiums are sprouting up all over the East Side like wildflowers. If it’s an urban lifestyle you’re wanting, there are a number of exciting projects on the market that offer many of the amenities that appeal to the condo buyer without the sticker shock of downtown prices. If you still want a sense of how Austin ‘used to be’ and you love the bohemian lifestyle, East Austin has much to offer. It’s hip, trendy, quaint, historical, convenient, affordable, and one of my favorite places in Austin!
East Austin Attractions
East Austin has many amenities, attractions, and points of interest. The area is very diverse with a number of restaurants, cafés, art galleries, shops, other businesses. In fact, East Austin homeowners can step outside their home and be only minutes from a great dining area or a local theater production. Attractions in the area include the French Legation, Vortex Theater, Salvage Vanguard Theater, the Carver Museum, and the Rosewood Zaragoza Center, which hosts a number of community events annually. Plaza Saltillo is scheduled to be a transit hub for Capital Metro’s light rail system, and the rail will also run through much of East Austin. In addition to these points of interest, East Austin has a number of parks where homeowners can walk their dogs, read books, or just relax. Thanks to the variety of artists in the area, there’s always something happening in East Austin. The East Austin Studio Tour (EAST) and the Cherrywood Arts Fair are two premier events held in the Fall that you won’t want to miss!