Neighborhood Profile: Barton Hills

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  • Schools: Barton Hills Elementary, O’Henry Middle School, Austin High School
  • Home Styles: Traditional Ranch, Mid-Century, Updated Modern
  • Average List Price: $898,990 (January 2016)
  • Nearby Restaurants: ARoma, Matt’s El Rancho, Gourdough’s East Side King
  • Nearby Attractions & Amenities: Barton Creek Greenbelt

With its prime location, laid-back vibe and abundance of green space, it’s no wonder that Barton Hills is one of Austin’s most coveted neighborhoods. Located just south of Lady Bird Lake and a stone’s throw from 351-acre Zilker Park and downtown, Barton Hills is a primarily residential neighborhood with homes dating back to the 1940s.

Barton Hills’ namesake, William “Uncle Billy” Barton, was an early Texas settler who is sometimes referred to as the Daniel Boone of Texas. He settled in the area in 1837, setting up his homestead near a natural spring on the southern bank of the Colorado River and naming the springs after his daughters Parthenia, Eliza and Zenobia. (Only one name stuck – one of the smaller springs is still called Eliza to this day-and years later, the main spring and pool were named after Barton himself). In those days, Austin was still a nearby city, and residents traveled to the springs by a riverboat called the Sunbeam.

The residential development of the area began some 60 years later, and in Austin’s 1956 Parade of Homes, Barton Hills had the distinction of being named “the world’s largest air-conditioned subdivision.” Today, the neighborhood’s homes are a mix of traditional ranch and updated modern, and you can still see examples of homes built by A.D. Stenger, one of Austin’s better-known residential architects, whose style leaned toward low-slung roof lines, clerestory windows and the use of local building materials such as limestone.

One reason for the quiet feel of Barton Hills is that the neighborhood is bordered by the Barton Creek Greenbelt, which means there’s little pass-through traffic. For a short time in 1978, that came under threat by the proposed construction of a Barton Skyway motorists bridge over Barton Creek. Barton Hills residents packed a City Council meeting to protest the construction and were able to successfully block the measure from passing. A trade-off of its location (or at least that’s how some residents see it) is that the neighborhood does see an uptick in traffic and road closures due to the numerous events that take place in Zilker Park throughout the year, from Austin City Limits Music Festival to Blues on the Green, the Trail of Lights, and many other popular festivals and activities.

Another advantage to living in Barton Hills is its access to Lamar Blvd, with its abundance of restaurants and shops, as well as access to public transportation options, including one of the city’s Rapid Metro bus lines. Yet despite the proximity to these amenities, the city manages to maintain its secluded feel.

Students in the neighborhood attend highly regarded Barton Hills Elementary, O. Henry Middle School, and Austin High.

Many of us here at Blairfield Realty are lucky enough to call Barton Hills home, and we’ve bought and sold more homes in the neighborhood than in any other in Austin.

Have a home in Barton Hills that you’re thinking about selling? Give us a call at 512.912.1910 to have us run free market comps today!

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