Austin’s Hip Historic Homes

Can history be cool? Austin says it can. In a city known for its bands, its festivals and its “weird” culture, it follows that its history should be hip. There are even organizations, like Inherit Austin, dedicated to unmasking the unique and lesser-known stories from Austin’s historic communities.
historic homes austin
Although Austin doesn’t boast a bevy of grand, historically preserved mansions like some cities, there are several places around town where you can gather a sense of the Austin that came before all the accolades. Below are ten of our favorite historic homes around the city (and where to find them). But keep in mind: most of the places listed here are private residences.

Hyde Park

The Shipe House: On the corner of Avenue F and 38 th Street in Austin’s historic Hyde Park is the former home of Colonel Monroe Martin Shipe (who happens to be the founder of Hyde Park). An innovator who brought new ideas about public transportation to Austin, Shipe had parts of his home constructed from the wood of a fair grandstand.

shippe house austin

Smith-Marcuse-Lowry Home: For a little Queen Anne style deep in the heart of Texas, drive by this home at 3913 Avenue C. At the time it was built in 1894, it had all the modern conveniences of today—complete with gas fireplace, electricity and a water collection and retention system.

North University

Worrell-Etlinger House: Just a few short blocks from Hyde Park, you’ll find this historic Craftsman-style bungalow built in 1912 at 3110 Harris Park Avenue.

Travis Heights

Louis and Mathilde Reuter House: This limestone Spanish Revival home was built in Austin’s Historic Travis Heights neighborhood by a local entrepreneur who moved here in 1918 and later opened the city’s first self-service grocery store. You can find the house at 806 Rosedale Terrace.


Genaro P. and Carolina Briones House: Known to some as the Casa de Suenos (or “House of Dreams”), this home located at 1204 E. 7 th Street was lovingly constructed by its original owner over a period of 14 years. Its dramatic two-story porch and unusual (dare we say weird?) molded concrete exterior are quite a show.

The Brizendine House: Today it sits on 11 th Street dwarfed by the annex to the Travis County Courthouse and the Blakewell/Thurman Criminal Justice Center, but in its day this house represented the typical lifestyle of its late 19 th -century working class inhabitants.

Granger House and The Perch: This is not one but a pair of houses that is distinct from its downtown neighbors as a boxy, mid-century style home. Built in 1945 and 1952 respectively, the houses showcase the style of local architect Charles Granger, who was responsible for designing the award-winning Robert Mueller Municipal Airport.

Like what you see here? If you’re looking for a home in Austin, some of our favorite neighborhoods for discovering historic charm (in addition to the ones listed above) are Pemberton Heights, Bryker Woods, Clarksville and East Austin. Give us a buzz at SEED or follow us on Instagram to stay on top of the latest in Austin real estate news—both new and old!

Welcome to Austin!

Annette Patterson, Realtor, GRI


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