The Hancock Neighborhood of North Central Austin is a historic area just north of the University of Texas Campus and downtown Austin. The Hancock Neighborhood is very close to historic Hyde Park
, and some of the streets and borders of the two neighborhoods overlap or are adjacent to each other. The boundaries of the Hancock area include I.H. 35 the east, Duval to the west, 29th street to the south, and 41st street on the northern edge.
One of the earliest settlers of the Hancock area was Susanna Dickinson, who was a survivor of the Battle of the Alamo, and originally lived at 32nd Street and Duval. Another early resident was Lewis Hancock, for whom the neighborhood was named, and who was mayor of Austin from 1895 to 1897. Hancock also founded the Austin Country Club and Golf Course in the area in 1899, and after the turn of the century, formal neighborhoods were planned in the North University area, which it was called at the time.
Directly south of the country club, which was considered suburban at the time, Dr. J.R. Bailey platted the Beau Site in 1910, and in 1912, the Austin Country Club expanded to 18 holes after the land east of Red River on which it was expanded was purchased by the club and its owners. In 1928, the neighborhood was subdivided into its current configuration, and Austin's population at the time was only around 35,000 residents, so the area was still considered to be on the outskirts of town.
St. David's Hospital was built around 32nd Street in 1924, when it opened its doors, and Concordia Lutheran College was also built on twenty acres of land from the Hancock Estate in 1926. Various commercial establishments sprang up shortly thereafter, and many prominent Austinites relocated to the Hancock neighborhood around the same time, including J. Frank Dobie, a well known writer, and Edgar Perry Jr., a cotton broker, as well as Tom Miller, one of the early mayors of Austin who served two terms as mayor.
In 1946, the Austin Country Club relocated outside the city limits, and the city sold the back nine holes of the Hancock Golf Course, as it was called after the country club relocated, to the Sears Corporation to finance other recreational projects. The Sears store later became one of the flagship stores in the Hancock Center shopping Plaza, which was built in 1963 on the back nine of the golf course and was Austin's first shopping mall. The other flagship store in Hancock Center is a huge HEB Grocery Store, which offers one of the largest selections of products among grocery stores in the Austin area, among various other smaller stores, shops, and restaurants.
There are many tree-lined historic homes in the Hancock Neighborhood, and numerous apartment complexes which appeal to U.T. students, given the area's proximity to the university campus, and also numerous restaurants, coffee shops, museums, and recreational facilities, including the Hancock Golf Course, which still operates today.
Eastwood Park and Wading Pool, near the Hancock Golf Course, is another popular location for residents of the neighborhood to relax and get some outdoor quality time, and since Concordia University plans to relocate this year, a mixed-use development is being constructed on the site of the school, so many more opportunities abound for residents of the area as well as visitors in the near future.
With its proximity to downtown and the university, plus its tree-shaded streets, homes from the early 20th century, and eclectic mix of residents and businesses, the Hancock Neighborhood is one of the most inviting in the Austin area, and the yearly Christmas Trail of Lights, on 34th Street, is one of the best events to visit to see the neighborhood in all its splendor, so be sure to visit the Hancock Neighborhood, especially during the holidays, and you will see what Austin is truly all about!
Ki studied at UT. He hosts a website focused on Austin real estate
. Potential owners can perform a Austin home search
on his site. He also provides profiles on neighborhoods in the central Austin real estate market