All About Zilker…the Neighborhood and the Man

Not many people have the distinction of having a neighborhood named after them, but Andrew Jackson Zilker, one of Austin’s most prominent political figures and philanthropists, was the namesake for not only the Zilker neighborhood but also Zilker Elementary and of course, Austin’s beloved Zilker Metropolitan Park.


Andrew Jackson Zilker

Zilker moved to Austin from New Albany, Indiana, in 1876 at the age of 18. The first job he held was as a dishwasher; he also was a volunteer firefighter and bank director, helped with the construction of the Congress Avenue Bridge and served as water and light commissioner and alderman, among other things. However, his fortune came from ice manufacturing, where he worked his way up the ladder until he eventually owned his own ice plant. In 1901, he began acquiring land, including 350 acres surrounding Barton Springs. The purchase served him well: the horses and mules that pulled his ice wagons pastured on the land, and the cold, clear water of Barton Springs was used to make the ice itself.


Barton Springs Pool, 1982

In 1917, Zilker, who was then head of the school board, engineered a deal that transferred ownership of Barton Springs Pool to the school district, which in turn sold the pool and surrounding land (today’s Zilker Park) to the city in return for funds to endow the city’s public schools. One year later, Zilker deeded an additional 35 acres of his nearby land to the city, on which was built the Zilker neighborhood. In 1950, nearly two decades after his death, the district opened Zilker Elementary in his honor.

Today, Zilker is one of Austin’s most popular central city neighborhoods. Located on the south shore of Lady Bird Lake and bounded by Lamar Boulevard to the east, Barton Skyway to the south, and Rabb and Robert E Lee roads to the west, it saw its first home constructions in the late 1920s. Today’s residences range from original historic wooden bungalows to mid-century modern structures (including several built by AP Stenger), to the latest in innovative design. There are also plenty of multi-unit apartment and condominium options.

Today, Zilker neighborhood epitomizes the stereotype of laid-back Austin living, with its stately oak and pecan trees, central location, diverse population and close proximity to such civic attractions as Umlauf Sculpture Garden, The Long Center for Performing Arts, Auditorium Shores, Zach Scott Theatre and of course, Zilker Park and Lady Bird Lake. Downtown is within easy walking or biking distance, and numerous great shopping and dining options line South Lamar and Barton Springs Road. Neighborhood kids are zoned to Zilker Elementary, O. Henry Middle School and Austin High School.

Because of Blairfield Realty’s office location in the heart of Zilker, we have our finger on the pulse of neighborhood real estate.


Zilker Metropolitan Park


Zilker Properties for Sale

  1. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 887 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.87 ac
    Year built: 2014
  2. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 780 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.87 ac
    Year built: 2014
  3. 2 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,101 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,221 sqft
    Year built: 1984
  4. 2 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,500 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,570 sqft
    Year built: 2013
  5. 1 bed, 2 baths
    Home size: 972 sq ft
    Lot size: 392 sqft
    Year built: 2007

See all Real estate in the 78704 zip code.
(all data current as of 1/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.