The historic district of Clarksville, located west of downtown Austin, is the perfect example of a hip urban area that is still very much tied with history and culture. Restaurants, cafes, shops, and galleries are easily accessible by foot, mainly because the neighborhood is compact. The streets are lively and residences are conveniently located near everything you might need.
Present-day Clarksville has a lot of stories to tell. It is one of Austin’s oldest neighborhoods and used to be part of a 365-acre land of Texas Governor Elisha Pease that was sold to Charles Clark, a freedman, in 1871.
Charles Clark constructed his property on present-day West Tenth Street and the community would later on be named after him. Because of the rich history attached to Clarksville, the community was spared from rapid development that’s happening in other parts of Austin.
The Sweet Home Baptist Church, one of the most recognizable landmarks in the neighborhood, was founded in 1882. In 1976, the district was inducted into the National Register of Historic Places.
In the early 1990s, many Europeans decided to call Clarksville home and built a community that still stands today. Anthony Colanetta established Anthony’s Laundry & Cleaners in 1950 and leased another business, a drugstore, to his friend, Hylton Nau. Both businesses are still operational today.
Other businesses still standing strong include Sledd’s Nursery, Jeffrey’s, and Clarksville Natural Grocery, all of which opened in the mid-1970s. In 1980, Clarksville Natural Grocery became what we know as Whole Foods today.
Clarksville offers a good mix of dwelling styles, from condos and apartments to single-family residences. Some homes are decades-old, while some are recent constructions. The recurring architectural styles found in Clarksville residences are American Craftsman, Bungalow, and Late Victorian. Historical landmarks in Austin are in Cumberland and Antebellum styles.
It is a hip neighborhood and the residences tend to be on the cozy but unique side. The young crowd dominates the community, with young families, students, and young professionals comprising the majority of the population.
Clarksville residents love to get together and participate in community events. Some of these events are so successful that the neighborhood decided to do them annually. Fund-raising and volunteering events are also the norm in Clarksville.
Austin is home to some of the best public schools in Texas. Students from Clarksville attend school in Casis Elementary School, Barton Hills Elementary School, Matthews Elementary School, Austin High School, and Zilker Elementary School.
Since Clarksville is just a stone’s throw away from the downtown, you will have a lot of options when it comes to dining, shopping, art, and entertainment. However, Clarksville does not disappoint with its own roster of hang-out places.
The neighborhood boasts of cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants lining West Lynn. Notable places include Jeffrey’s, Cipollina, and Nau’s Drugstore. You can also head to Whole Foods and Amy’s Ice Creams or try the various food trucks ready to satisfy your palate. Specialty dessert shops, cocktail lounges, and offbeat dining spots can all be found here in Clarksville.
Getting around in Clarksville is easy. Biking and even walking are recommended when going out since everything is just close to each other. But if you are going outside Clarksville, you might need to hop on a vehicle. Driving is a hassle-free option but public transportation is good too. Buses, cabs, and ride-hailing apps are available in the area.
If you love hanging out at parks, make sure to visit Clarksville Park and West Austin Park. These are two pocket parks in Clarksville that feature wading pools during the summer season. Zilker Park, on the other hand, is popular for its hiking and biking trails, beach volleyball courts, open fields, and Barton Springs Pool. In the northeast lies Shoal Creek Hike and Bike Trail, perfect for outdoor adventurers.
There are several spots in the neighborhood that are uniquely Clarksville. Established in 1982, Waterloo Records still sells records and hosts free shows. Meanwhile, The HOPE Outdoor Gallery is an abandoned building that’s a standout for its graffiti art. BookPeople is an independent bookstore with a wide array of books available.
If you think the hip and vibrant vibe of Clarksville is for you, consider purchasing a property in the area. My name is Kumara Wilcoxon, one of the most trusted names in the Austin real estate market, and I can help you find your dream space in this youthful neighborhood. Get in touch with me at kumara(at)sothebysrealty(dotted)com or 512.423.5035 so we can discuss your options.