Hi, I’m Morgan Smith for the Austin Street Beat. Thank you for joining me today as we explore two neighborhoods in the heart of Austin: Hyde Park and North University
Located in Central Austin, Hyde Park is situated just north of The University of Texas – defined by W. 38th Street to the south, W. 51st Street to the north, Duval Street to the east, and Guadalupe Street to the west.
Hyde Park was established in 1891 as an affluent suburb (22 blocks north of the town center), with many homes built in the Queen Anne style, very popular at the time. Famous sculptor Elisabet Ney was one of the first to move in to Hyde Park. Her property is now the Elisabet Ney Museum on 44th Street.
Today, Hyde Park is a neighborhood of generously sized, turn-of-the century homes, a few of which have been turned into popular B&Bs; cozy bungalows, many of which are now duplexes; and a few smaller apartment and condo complexes that have blended into the neighborhood.
While Hyde Park is just minutes from campus, the area is far enough from the madness to have ample parking for vehicles. Campus is about 20 – 30 minutes on foot, or Campus shuttles (the IF line) and city buses regularly stop throughout the neighborhood.
Hyde Park prides itself on being genuinely Austin. Its residents are commonly considered liberal, health-conscious and eco-friendly. The area is popular among upperclassmen, graduate students and University faculty as well as longtime Austin residents. Hyde Park also houses many young families and singles, and the area is wildly dog friendly. You’ll see lots of residents walking and running through the neighborhood, often with dogs. Shipe Park, right in the heart of Hyde Park, is a popular hangout for dog-loving locals. It has a small swimming pool, playground, basketball court, and large, open grassy areas. Hancock Golf Course, a public nine-hole golf course, also sits in Hyde Park. It was created in 1899, making it Texas’ oldest golf course.
Despite being one of Central Austin’s most densely occupied neighborhoods, Hyde Park retains that sense of community it had a century ago. Hyde Park is really a village inside Austin with its own “town center” at 43rd and Duval where the locals gather for coffee and pastries at Quack’s Bakery, for gelato and a glass of grappa at Dolce Vita, or simply to do their laundry and hang out with friends. The center is also home to several popular cafes, Hyde Park Bar and Grill (look for the two-story fork outside and be sure to try the buttermilk-dipped fries), Asti for Italian food, and the venerable Mother’s for vegetarian fare.
Between Hyde Park and the UT campus is the community of North University. North University is a small neighborhood that caters to college students and other Austinites who want to live in a busy, central location. North University attracts many professors and their families as well as students. Walkability is one of the most popular features of North University as it takes just minutes to walk to many of the most popular bars and restaurants such as Spider House Cafe, Trudy’s, or Crown & Anchor Pub. North University is also located just a few short blocks from St. David’s Hospital.
Because of its proximity to downtown, campus, and popular shopping and restaurant districts on both Red River and Guadalupe, North University attracts residents who want a walkable and bikeable neighborhood with lots of activities within easy reach. Bikers especially love this area because of the many bike lanes and the absence of steep inclines in most of the neighborhood.
Despite its youthful culture and population, North University has a storied history as one of the oldest residential neighborhoods in Austin, with some structures from the 1860s still standing today. Like much of Austin, this mix of old and new makes for an exciting neighborhood for residents and visitors alike.
A small, preserved historic area called Aldridge Place lies within the North University neighborhood. Here you will find turn-of-the-century, stately homes that reflect the antiquity and charm of this area. Hemphill Park is a small park located in Aldridge Place where North University residents can enjoy a small slice of nature in the heart of the city.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at two of Central Austin’s most interesting neighborhoods! For Austin Street Beat, brought to you by Schmitz & Smith and Adelo Mortgage Company, this is Morgan Smith.