Hyde Park - Austin, TX

Austin, TX
United States
Hyde Park - Austin, TX

Landscape Information

Encompassing some 186 acres about three miles north of the Texas Capitol, this was among the first suburbs of Austin. In 1850, Joseph Lee homesteaded a 369-acre parcel, then sold 206 acres to a group of investors in 1872. In 1890, Monroe Martin Shipe acquired this parcel and conveyed it to the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Land and Town Co., which he founded. That same year, Shipe had won a contract to electrify Austin’s existing mule-drawn streetcar line. As the State Lunatic Asylum (established in 1856) was to the west of Shipe’s nascent suburb and the University of Texas (established in 1883) was to its south, the streetcar line was quickly extended into Shipe’s development. Initially marketed to wealthy investors as a community “exclusively for white people,” by 1904 declining property values caused Shipe to shift his strategy to promote the properties to a growing working class.

The period between 1916 and 1935 witnessed the most intense building: Single-family houses comprised Tudor Revival, Queen Anne, and Bungalow styles; civic institutions such as churches and schools were constructed; a “Moonlight tower” was erected at Speedway and 41st Street; and North Austin Park (now the three-acre Shipe Park) was established with tennis courts and two swimming pools. Notably, several tourist camps—one-room accommodations separated by single-car garages and constructed around courtyards—were built along Guadalupe Street. Although many historic structures along Speedway were replaced with apartment buildings in the 1960s, the Hyde Park Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.