Category Archives: Texas

Hanging in There

It’s hot and most of us are hibernating a bit or wrapping up summer vacations before school starts. However, we’re still working on our historic district. Please consider making time this fall to volunteer with our project and possibly take on a leadership role. We could use block captains for almost every street in the neighborhood. If you think someone else is doing it, it’s fair to assume they’re not. We need YOU to make this happen.

We are always in severe need of donations, as well, to pay our architectural historian for writing our history and nomination for the National Register Historic District application. If you give now, this is where your money will go.

Please make donations through the Austin Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, for the Travis Heights-Fairview Park Historic District Project.

Or if you’d rather mail a check, please send it to:

Travis Heights-Fairview Park Historic District
1712 E. Riverside Dr. PMB #188
Austin, TX 78741-1320

Please join our cause on Facebook, too!

Cocktail Party Fundraiser at the Historic Louis & Flossie John House

The John House
The Louis & Flossie John House
This mysterious house at 1924 Newning Avenue is finally having its story told. Come and learn more about it and its fascinating past at a fundraiser for our historic district effort.

It will be an afternoon affair on Sunday, May 23, from 3-5 p.m. Admission is $15.

The City of Austin’s Chief Preservation Officer Steve Sadowsky will be there to share the home’s history.

Casey Gallagher will bring our brand-new database to show you. It includes all the work from our survey done last year, which so many of you helped to complete. This gets us closer to a historic district here, having finished such a large piece of the puzzle.

We could really use some volunteers to put this party on. Can you help in any way?

• Advertising & Marketing
• Sponsorships & Printing
• Food & Drinks
• Clean-up & Set-up
• Ticket Sales
• Docents
• Cocktail Party Music

Please consider helping, as well as spreading the word about this fun event! Contact if you can volunteer or donate in any way. Thank you!

Colorful Print for our Colorful Community

Travis Heights poster by Jon Pattillo
20" x 26" Serigraph Print by Jon Pattillo

Colorful hand-made serigraph prints ($45, 20″ x 26″) by Jon Pattillo of Fat Caddy Plus celebrate the sweetness of our historic neighborhood. Donate to our cause and decorate at the same time. E-mail Historic Travis Heights and we will get one or more of these signed, numbered works of art to you.

National Register Historic District on the Way

Survey map in hand, volunteer organizers met with Greg Smith of the Texas Historical Commission today to check in on our progress toward creating a National Register Historic District for Travis Heights-Fairview Park.

After assessing our progress, we learned we now need to breaking up the sections of our district into their separate subdivisions, and research and write about their context within the neighborhood and in Austin. If you’re good at writing and research, please consider volunteering.

Boy playing trumpet
Oliver plays trumpet at the Wilkins-Heath House

Thanks to our resident history research completed last year at the Austin History Center, we can now delve into the personal stories of our neighborhood that describe our history.

  • What is the story of South Austin’s development, as well as in our own neighborhood?
  • What kind of people lived here and what did they do?
  • Are the street patterns built around the Garden Plan, with meandering routes, or on a grid?

These are types of topics we need to include in our historical narrative for our application. We’ll also need to crunch the numbers from our survey, such as how many types of different architectural styles are represented.  All of this will inform the final historical narrative.

The other steps needed to complete our National Register application mostly include writing and editing. If you are interested in helping our project by donating your research and editing skills, please contact

If we can get this section of work done quickly, we can hand in our application to the state by November. It is a long process of editing and meetings but, optimistically,  if we meet that deadline, we may have our designation by this time next year.

The New Plan for Our Travis Heights-Fairview ParkHistoric District

South Congress Avenue
South Congress Avenue ca. 1900

Welcome to our new blog for the Travis Heights-Fairview Park Historic District, a neighborhood founded in Austin, Texas in the late 1880s.

Ask questions in the comments section and we will try to answer them as they come. We hope this space will be an informational platform and not a battleground. We think we’re the most laid-back neighborhood in Austin and we are proud to be Austin’s FIRST planned subdivision south of the river.

We’ve been working for the last five years to have our neighborhood designated as a Local Historic District and a National Register Historic District. it’s been a tough process getting there, however, because this is a new concept for The City of Austin and we are the largest neighborhood trying to win this designation.

Despite raising thousands of dollars to fund the professional help we needed to write the nomination and organize our survey and other requirements. it hasn’t been enough to keep our project funded. So we decided to end our contract with Preservation Central.

So far, we’re at a good point to review our application plan to be a National Register Historic District and are hopeful we can achieve that in the next year. Because this is a mainly honorific designation and imposes no restrictions or tax issues on residents, it is a less difficult process than for a Local Historic District. Meanwhile, we will be plugging away at the tasks needed to apply for a LHD.

We’re looking for extra help with this project and need you as much as ever. We need hands-on volunteers for data entry work on our survey database. We need proofreaders. We need scintillating minds for our Design Standards group. You will be trained well in any task so please don’t feel like you don’t know enough to help. You will have fun! If you can help with this, please e-mail

Learn more at