Wikipedia Presents: The History of the ALLANDALE, North Central Austin Neighborhood





Allandale history[edit]

The area now considered the Allandale neighborhood was originally part of an 1841 land grant to George W. Davis by the President of the Republic of TexasMirabeau B Lamar, for his service in the Battle of San Jacinto. Over the years, Davis (and his descendants) sold most of the 3,154 acres he was granted; however, the Davis family cemetery, a Texas Historical Cemetery, is in Allandale.[1] A portion of the lands that the Davis family sold became part of Frank Richcreek's family farm, the Kirchner dairy farm, and smaller neighborhoods that were built in the 1930s. This changed in 1946 when W. Murray Graham, who was known as the “dean of the Austin real estate profession” and was instrumental in developing the EnfieldTarrytown, and Bryker Woods neighborhoods, started platting the original sections of the Allandale neighborhood, soon followed by Allandale Oaks in 1951. Other sections of Allandale, including Allandale Terrace, Allandale Park, and Allandale West, were platted by other developers.

Allandale West[edit]

In 1958, Allandale West (the area north of Northland, south of Gullett Elementary School between the Union Pacific railroad tracks and Shoal Creek) was developed by Mr. W. H. Bullard. A long time neighborhood resident and friend of Mr. Bullard, John Miller provided insight on the naming of some of the street names in Allandale West:[citation needed]
  1. Bullard (Dr), Named after Mr. Bullard
  2. Clarice (Ct), Long time employee of Mr. Bullard's
  3. Carleen (Dr), Wife of the project's civil engineer
  4. Sarah (Ct), Mr. Bullard's secretary
  5. Gena (Ct), Daughter of Mr. Bullard's secretary
  6. Janey (Dr), Daughter of Mr. Bullard's secretary
  7. Louise (Ln), Mr. Bullard's mother's and daughter's name
  8. Marilyn (Dr), Wife of Mr. Bullard's law partner
  9. Susie (Ct), A long time Austin Club employee
  10. Rickey (Dr), Rickey Key, a close friend of Mr. Bullard
  11. Fairlane (Dr), Mr. Bullard's Ford Fairlane automobile
  12. Treadwell (Blvd), Named by a local optometrist

1981 Flood[edit]

On Memorial Day 1981, eleven inches of rain fell in three hours in some places in Austin. At the height of the storm around midnight, Shoal Creek, which normally flows at 90 gallons a minute was raging at 6.55 million gallons per minute. By morning, 13 people were dead, hundreds of homes were destroyed, and Shoal Creek was clogged with dozens of new cars that had washed into the creek from a nearby dealership.[2]

Plesiosaur Fossil Find[edit]

In 1991, local dentist and amateur paleontologist Robert McDonald found plesiosaur fossils in Shoal Creek near Greenlawn Parkway and Shoal Creek Blvd. A concrete stamp depicting the fossil is located at the Great Northern detention pond spillway.

Architecture[edit]

Most of the homes in Allandale are ranch style slab on grade homes. However, east of Shoal Creek Blvd, and south of Greenlawn Pkwy, are pockets of mid-century modern houses intermixed with the more traditional ranch style homes.

Air Conditioned Village[edit]

A portion of Allandale, roughly bounded by Twin Oaks Dr to the south, Addison Ave to the north, Daugherty St to the east and Nasco Dr to the west played a unique role in proving that indoor air conditioning could be affordable and feasible in middle-class homes. The experimental Air Conditioned Village, sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders and studied by scientist at not only the University of Texas, but the US Department of Energy, opened in 1954 to assess the effects of air-conditioning on middle class residential design. Some of the development's original 22 homes are still standing and tell a fascinating story about how this small section of the Allandale played a pivotal role in bringing indoor air conditioning to the middle-class home.

Neighborhood traditions[edit]

4th of July Parade[edit]

In 1960, Rv. John Lovett had the idea of a neighborhood parade. He was joined in organizing the first Allandale parade by the Frank Tuttles and another family or two. The 4th of July parade has been a neighborhood tradition ever since.[3]

Candy Canes: The Holiday Tradition[edit]

In the early 1960s, the neighborhood began a unique project, the lighted Christmas candy canes. Often thought of as a gift from the developers to those that purchased houses around Christmas, in reality the tradition was started by several of the neighborhood men walked Carleen and took orders, about $2.50 per cane or $5.00 for a cane and floodlight. Stovepipes were assembled in various garages, and then hung on a long wire for painting. The addition of a few yards of wide red plastic ribbon and a bow completed each cane. The work crew even installed the canes to insure a uniform angle and spacing. As new streets were opened, the new neighbors were encouraged to join the candy cane project. Within two years virtually every house had one or two lighted canes.[4] In 1994 Cub Scout Pack 55 brought back the tradition of the Candy Canes as a fund raiser.

Neighborhood Wide Garage Sale[edit]

In 2005 a neighborhood wide garage sale was established. The purpose of the garage sale is to encourage neighbors to sell unwanted items that are still useful to others, and to engage with each other in a community-wide event. Unsold items are often collected by Allandale Neighborhood Association volunteers and donated to a local charity.

Neighborhood shopping[edit]

The eastern boundary of Allandale is Burnet Road, known for its quirky locally owned shops. Over time, some of the local shops have been replaced by boutique stores, bars, and restaurants.

Graham's Allandale Village[edit]

Opened at Burnet and Allandale Roads in 1950, at the time it was the largest suburban shopping center in town. It was meant to serve not just Allandale residents, but those living in the wider area in CrestviewBrentwood, Highland Park, Rosedale, and beyond.

Northcross Mall[edit]

is an indoor mall that opened in 1975 on the corner of Burnet Rd. & Anderson Ln., and was last renovated in 2004. It had 1,551 parking spaces (currently 2,048), a food court with 100 seats (now a number of individual restaurants), and what is thought to be Austin's first indoor ice skating rink (still operating). The mall covers an area of 336,688 square feet and has about 55 stores.

Cemeteries[edit]

Historic Davis Cemetery[edit]

Davis Cemetery, located on Vine St. between Twin Oaks and Cavileer Ave., is the family cemetery of George W. Davis, who was granted the surrounding land in 1841 for his service in The Battle of San Jacinto. It was dedicated as a historic cemetery on March 10, 2000. It contains about 100 graves ranging from the mid 1800s to 1918.[5][6]

Austin Memorial Park Cemetery[edit]

Opened in 1927, the cemetery spans an area greater than 100 acres with over 100,000 single graves.[7]

Neighborhood activism[edit]

The Allandale Neighborhood Association was organized in October 1973 as a 501C4 and is the 28th and largest neighborhood group in Austin. It is known for its civic activism and community engagement. The neighborhood association may have the biggest boundaries of any, encompassing 3,500 homes in an area roughly bounded by Anderson Lane to the North, Burnet Road to the East, 45th Street to the South, and MoPac Expressway to the West. The association works to promote and preserve the quality of life, the integrity, the safety, the residential character, and the property values of the neighborhood. It monitors zoning proposals, legislative issues, and City Council decisions regarding the streets, park, creek, and other concerns of the area. It sponsors candidate forums for the City Council, the school board, and other public offices when appropriate to provide information to the public. A select list of the achievements are outlined below:

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