Hyde Park Neighborhood Association

(1840 – 2015)

April 20, 1840 – The State of Texas patented 369 acres to Thomas Gray. (A patent is an original grant of land from the state to an individual.)

1850 – Thomas Gray conveyed the land to Joseph Lee for a homestead.

1857 – The State Insane Asylum (now the Austin State Hospital) was founded.

1872 – Joseph Lee sold 206.25 acres to a group of investors from Travis and Guadalupe counties.

June 2, 1885 – The investors conveyed 85 of the acres they had purchased from Joseph Lee to the Capital State Fair Association, which constructed exhibit buildings, livestock pens, judges’ stands, two racetracks and a 300-foot grandstand with a seating capacity of 3,500.  After they encountered financial problems, the fair closed, and the property reconveyed to Edward Christian, one of the originals investors who had purchased land from Joseph Lee.

1890 –  After purchasing the property from Edward Christian’s wife and partners, L. Fellman sold it to William B. Clarke, Victor. B. Buck, and George Rockwell of Kansas City, Missouri & A. W. Terrell of Travis County.

May 13, 1890 – Col. Monroe Shipe of Abilene, Kansas purchased the entire 206.25 acres for $70,000.00.

Dec. 8 1890 –  Col. Shipe and his wife, Adele, conveyed the 206.25 acres to the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Land and Town Company for $180,000.00.

January 3, 1891 – The Hyde Park Addition, the first of two subdivisions that make up Hyde Park south of 45th Street, was filed with Travis County. The Addition ran from Guadalupe to Duval, 39th to 45th, but did not include the area between Guadalupe and Avenue D and 39th Street and 43rd Street.

February 26, 1891, 4pm – Austin Rapid Transit Railway Company, under the leadership of Col. Monroe Shipe, ran its first electric trolley car from Congress Avenue to Hyde Park.

1891 – The first Hyde Park school was built by Monroe Shipe, on Speedway. The Austin School District eventually took over its administration and renamed it Baker School after DeWitt Clinton Baker, Travis County school inspector.

April 22, 1892 – Hyde Park Addition #2, the second of two subdivisions that make up Hyde Park south of 45th Street, was recorded. This was the area between Guadalupe and Avenue D and 39th Street and 43rd Street. Shipe originally intended this area as parkland, with a lake and pavilion. The lake was drained in the mid-1890s, to allow for more residential area.

1892 – Hyde Park Addition #2 was platted. Col. Shipe’s house was built. Elisabet Ney’s studio was built. Fifty-nine lots were sold to sixteen owners; all but two were corner lots.

1894 – Frank T. “Fruit Tree” Ramsey founded Ramsey’s Austin Nursery just north of 45th Street, east of Guadalupe. By 1904, the nursery grew and sold a million fruit trees yearly.

1885 – The first Hyde Park Baptist Church building was completed.

May 1895 –The moonlight tower on Speedway was turned on for the first time. The City of Austin power system was not yet complete, so it ran on current from Col. Shipe’s own generator.

1896 – Two hundred fifty-nine lots were sold; the majority were corner lots and lots near Avenue F and 40th. The first Hyde Park Baptist Church was built. (That building is now Hyde Park Presbyterian Church.)

1898 – The Hyde Park Annex, the first subdivision north of 45th Street (Avenue B to Duval, 45th Street to 47th Street), was recorded.

February 6, 1903Four blocks of Hyde Park Addition #2, formerly unplatted, were subdivided. This was the area between 41st and 43rd Streets, Avenue B to Avenue D.

1909 – Avenue B Grocery was built. It began operations the following year, under the proprietorship of Marshall L. Johnson.

1910 – W.T. Caswell platted the Ridgetop Annex. The original Hyde Park Baptist Church building was purchased for $450 and moved to 40th Street, where it opened on December 18 as the Hyde Park Presbyterian Church. A saloon was operating in that area. Because alcohol could not be sold in the proximity of a church, the opening of the Hyde Park Presbyterian Church caused the saloon to close. The same building was moved to 40th and Avenue B in 1921.

1911 – The original Baker School on Speedway was demolished and Baker School was built at its present location.

1913 – Sewer service was installed.

1918 – Oakland Square Addition, 38th to 38 1/2 Street, west of Speedway, was platted.

1922 – The southeast corner of the Hyde Park Addition, where Col. Shipe’s house was located, was replatted and renamed Shadow Lawn.

1924 – Monroe Shipe died.

1924-35 – A building boom took place in Hyde Park.

1925 – J.J. Hegman platted the Hegman Subdivision (Avenue F and Rowena, north of 47th Street).

1927 – The building at 4101 Guadalupe was constructed. The tenants were A&P and Hyde Park Variety Store.

1928 – Shipe Park, previously called Hyde Park Playground, was dedicated. The log clubhouse dates from 1935. The first City of Austin comprehensive plan was adopted.

1929 – The Fire Station was built. Bluebonnet Tourist Camp was built. (It was renamed Blue Bonnet Court in 1939.)

July 1930 – Charlie “Fatty” Fariss gained notoriety by participating in one of the numerous fads that swept America from the mid-1920s to the early 1930s – tree sitting. Like flagpole sitting, tree sitting was an endurance test. Fariss sat in a tree at 41st and Guadalupe. He was reportedly hired by the Hyde Park Cash Grocery on 41st Street. Fatty stayed up in the tree for fourteen days, while people threw him food.

Summer, 1930 – Guadalupe was paved. The  electrical substation, now Sparky Park,  was built at 38th & Grooms.

1931 – Austin’s first zoning ordinance was passed.

1939 – Lee Elementary School was built.

1941 – Hyde Park’s 50th birthday. The streetcar system ended its operations.

Dec. 21, 1946 – Jane Shipe and Clotilda Ida Mansbendel released their deed restrictions. The Shipe and Mansbendel restrictions were reversionary; if purchasers violated them, the property would revert to the sellers. This made it difficult for purchasers to get liens against their properties. The release of these deed restrictions enabled purchasers to get liens without requiring the establishers of the reversionary restrictions to subordinate the restrictions to the liens.

1947 – The Trinity Methodist Church educational building was built at 50th and Evans. The church added additional construction over a period of years, prospered and grew, and eventually moved to its current location at 4001 Speedway after the Hyde Park Methodist Church vacated the Speedway location.

1950s – Many homes became rental properties. The University of Texas ended its policy requiring students to live on campus.

1960s – The City of Austin adopted the policy of up-zoning Hyde Park properties to allow the construction of apartment buildings. UT was growing and because students were no longer required to live on campus, there was a need for apartments. As a result, houses were demolished and apartments buildings were constructed.

1971 – City Council recommended closing Fire Station 9, but a delegation of Hyde Park residents led by Dorothy Richter descended upon the council and the plans were canceled. See Why Hyde Park Celebrates the Fire Station Festival.

1972 – The Elisabet Ney Museum was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Fall 1974 – The Hyde Park Neighborhood Association (HPNA) was formed. The City of Austin Historic Landmark Commission was established.

1975 – Hyde Park neighborhood again waged a successful fight against a City recommendation to close Fire Station 9.

1976 – The moonlight towers were listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

1979 – The Hyde Park Baptist Church (HPBC) property was up-zoned and a new sanctuary was built.

Late 1970s – The City of Austin reversed its former policy of up-zoning for apartments.

1983 – Hyde Park Compatibility Standards were developed.

1984 – An interim ordinance, a precursor to compatibility standards, went in effect. It required approval of a site plan before building construction. This meant that commercial and multifamily property constructed next to single family property required approval by City Council.

1985 – Hyde Park neighbors completed a neighborhood plan, which was not put into effect. A new zoning ordinance, with compatibility standards, was adopted by the city. This was a city-wide rewriting of the zoning code.

1986 – The Hyde Park National Register nomination project was initiated.

August 1990 – The Hyde Park and Shadow Lawn National Register Districts were approved by the Department of the Interior, with 273 contributing structures and 237 noncontributing structures. The Hyde Park Baptist Church Neighborhood Conservation Combining District (NCCD) was adopted. HPNA started its NCCD project.

June 1991 – Hyde Park Centennial Celebration took place, with the Hyde Park: Life on the Avenues exhibit at the Elisabet Ney Museum.  Hyde Park: The First 50 Years was published. The Hyde Park 5K Run took place. The Hyde Park NCCD project began surveying owners and blocks.

August 1991 – Texas Neighborhood Conservation Fund (TNCF) received a grant from The National Trust for Historic Preservation. HPNA and TNCF brought Stanland & Associates to Austin for a Conservation District workshop. The NCCD project published a statement of issues in the Pecan Press.

January 1992 – The NCCD project published a vision statement in the Pecan Press. The Texas MHMR Board approved a site plan for a major development, a PUD, at 38th Street.

June 1992 – The NCCD database, with its land use survey, was completed.

January 1993 – A cellular transmission tower was proposed for Hyde Park. There was neighborhood opposition.

April 1993 – HPNA adopted the Guadalupe Corridor Plan.

1994 – A new transmission tower ordinance was adopted, which resulted in the location of the cellular transmission tower atop the Austin State Hospital building instead of in Hyde Park.

April 1994 – HPNA adopted an infrastructure plan, which became part of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Plan adopted in 1999.

August 1994 – Hyde Park Marketplace opened at 4101 Guadalupe. It was a renovation and reuse of the original 1927 building.

1995 – HPNA sought funding to complete its NCCD.

1996 –  HPNA raised funds to keep its pool open.  The Guadalupe Owners and Merchants Association was formed.

Spring 1998 – City manager Jesus Garza announced that Hyde Park alleys would remain open and waste collection would continue in the alleys.

Fall 1998 – The City of Austin assigned Neighborhood Planning staff to help with the Hyde Park NCCD.

1999 – The Hyde Park Neighborhood Plan was adopted by vote of Hyde Park neighbors. Traffic calming circles were installed in Hyde Park. Walgreens was constructed at 45th and Guadalupe.

March 3, 2000 – Hyde Park Baptist Church filed a site plan for a garage building, initiating a process that led to lengthy negotiations between the neighborhood and the church.

April 13 2000 – City Council adopted the Hyde Park Neighborhood Plan.

December 13, 2001 – Hyde Park Baptist Church filed three site plans with the city in its quest to establish a larger church complex in Hyde Park.

January 31, 2002 – City Council adopted the Hyde Park NCCD on an emergency basis.

January 2002 – Shipe Park Arch was erected at 45th Street.

Summer, 2002 – The Planning Commission rejected two of the three Hyde Park Baptist Church site plans, a victory for neighbors who sought to preserve the original character of Hyde Park.

December 2010 – Austin City Council officially designated most of Hyde Park south of 45th Street as the Hyde Park Local Historic District (LHD).

2013 – A plaque honoring Dorothy Richter was dedicated at the Fire Station. See Why Hyde Park Celebrates the Fire Station Festival.

2014 – City Council committed $3.1 million to rebuild Shipe Pool.

2014 – The Hyde Park Neighborhood Association turned 40!