History of Travis Heights

Travis Heights is in fact a collection of many smaller neighborhoods platted at various times throughout the history of Austin. Much of this development history is closely related to the history of Austin’s transportation networks. After the construction of the 1876 Congress Avenue bridge (a ferry before), the Swisher Addition was platted on both sides of South Congress Avenue as the first urban planning act in South Austin. Soon after, in the 1880s, Fairview Park was subdivided as a picturesque suburb inspired by trends in urban planning coming from northeast and midwest. The Travis Heights subdivision came later in the 1910s after the city extended the streetcar system south of the river. The success of this development overwhelmed the earlier attempts, subsuming them into what we now refer to as Travis Heights.

Sources

South Congress Avenue Preservation Plan
McGraw Marburger & Associates, May 2003 (pdf)

Greater South River City Neighborhood Plan
September 2005 (pdf)

Bouldin Creek Neighborhood Plan
May 2002 (pdf)

History and Character-defining Features of Little Stacy Park
Kim McKnight, Austin Parks and Recreation, August 2011 (pdf)

Our Little Town: Travis Heights Arrives
Mike Clark-Madison, Dec. 4, 1998 (Austin Chronicle)

Fairview Park and Travis Heights’ History
From 1988/89 brochures for the Live Oak Festival Tour of Homes, Richard & Barbara Cille (pdf)

Austin’s Streetcar Era
A. T. Jackson, in The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Oct 1954 (pdf)

Collection of South Congress Ave images and maps illustrating its changes from 1920s-1960s
Josh Conrad, 2011(pdf, 95 MB)

South River City Citizens Records, An Inventory of the Collection, 1969-2011
Austin History Center (link)

Historic Residential Suburbs: Guidelines for Evaluation and Documentation for the National Register of Historic Places
U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service (link)

Grace United Methodist Church, Austin, TX: Our History (link)

Fire Station No. 6: Austin Fire Museum (link)

Congress Avenue Baptist Church: Our History (link)

South Austin Christian Church: History (link)

Christ Lutheran Church: History (link)

Maps

Austin and Surrounding Properties
Bergen, Daniel & Gracy, March 1891 (jpg)

City of Austin Map
Austin Chamber of Commerce, March 1939 (jpg)

1922 Sanborns

  • Index Sheet (jpg)
  • Sheet 58, East of South Congress, Nellie to Gibson (jpg)
  • Sheet 60, East of South Congress, Gibson to Milton (jpg)
  • Sheet 63, East of South Congress, Milton to Johanna (jpg)
  • Sheet 64, East of South Congress, Johanna to Live Oak (jpg)
  • Sheet 96, Travis Heights, Edgecliff to Monroe (jpg)

1935 Sanborns

  • Index Sheet (pdf)
  • Sheet 222, East of South Congress, Fairview Park to Elizabeth St (pdf)
  • Sheet 224, East of South Congress, Elizabeth to Leland (pdf)
  • Sheet 225, Newning east to Travis Heights Blvd, Edgecliff south to Monroe (pdf)
  • Sheet 226, East of Travis Heights Blvd, Edgecliff south to Monroe (pdf)
  • Sheet 227, South Congress at Live Oak (pdf)

1960 Sanborns

  • Index Sheet (pdf)
  • Sheet 222, East of South Congress, Fairview Park to Elizabeth St (pdf)
  • Sheet 224, East of South Congress, Elizabeth to Leland (pdf)
  • Sheet 225, Newning east to Travis Heights Blvd, Edgecliff south to Monroe (pdf)
  • Sheet 226, East of Travis Heights Blvd, Edgecliff south to Monroe (pdf)
  • Sheet 227, South Congress at Live Loak (pdf)
  • Sheet 229, East Side Dr east to Kenwood, Monroe south to Live Oak (pdf)

Aerial Photos

Aerial Photo, Sep 10, 1940
#COR-8-19, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library (jpg, 41 MB)

Austin Aerials- Terrace Motel. Looking East, May 17, 1955
Douglass, Neal. The Portal to Texas History. (jpg)

Austin Aerials- Terrace Motel. Looking North, May 17, 1955
Douglass, Neal. The Portal to Texas History. (jpg)

Aerial of South Austin and downtown looking North from directly above South Congress, October 14, 1949
Douglass, Neal. The Portal to Texas History. (jpg)