Preserving Austin's Historic neighborhoods
You may have noticed in central Austin there are a number of neighborhoods that now have a "Historic" Designation". Most Native Texans are very proud of our heritage and we try to preserve our local history. To that end the City of Austin is now working with the Heritage Society of Austin and various neighbors to preserve the historically significant homes. This is a recent effort as the city just passed an ordinance in 2007 to designate "Local Historic Districts" to help preserve these areas. This designation may have come too late for some central Austin neighborhoods, but better late than never.
There are also many individuals working towards this effort to preserve our historic buildings. Austin has several neighborhoods that are listed on the National Register of Historic Districts. However this new ordinance goes further by protecting the historic buildings from being demolished and re-zoned. It will also prevent architecturally incompatible construction from disfiguring a historical neighborhood. They are trying to help preserve the individual character of the neighborhoods.
National Register Districts located in Austin: Barton Springs, Bremond Block Homes, Clarksville, Congress Avenue, Hyde Park, The Little Campus-UT, Old West Austin, Rainey Street, Sixth Street, and Zilker Park.
Preservation of our historic homes is part of the original "Green Home" movement, as it keeps the property from being demolished and in a landfill, while new waste is created to build a new structure. It also can increase property values as homes within designated districts may appreciate faster than a traditional home that is not in a historic district.
Preservation of our historic homes can also increase tourism and therefore bring money into a neighborhood. For example The Strand in Galveston is home to many historic buildings that have shops and restaurants and have a booming business year round. This part of Galveston has long been a haven for tourists and has consistently brought money into this part of the city for decades. The city of Fredricksburg has long been overrun with tourists for many years. Just try driving through Fredricksburg on your way to Enchanted Rock one weekend and checkout the traffic jam in this tiny town! The quaint "Sunday Houses" and wonderful antique shops are such a draw that people come from out of state to see this picturesque town.
We all need to work to preserve what makes us unique. Part of what makes Austin different from any other city is our ability to see what is important to our culture and to be able to preserve our history. Please join me is supporting the Heritage Society of Austin.
Betina Foreman, Realtor and Member of NAR, TAR, ABOR, ActiveRain, Trulia Keller Williams Real Estate
1801 South Mopac, Suite 100
Austin, TX 78746