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Away from downtown, Hyde Park is really a small self contained village inside Austin, completed with its own “town center.” There are wide, clearly laid out streets, 100 year old trees, convenient, independent retail and gorgeous homes. The locally owned restaurants, stores, grocery store, Quack’s Bakery, Shipe Park and Hyde Theater all add to the charm of this old fashioned community.

Hyde Park — Austin's Most Charming Neighborhood

Founded in 1891 as Austin's first planned suburb, Hyde Park was christened after London’s prestigious address. It was intended as an aristocratic community and was marketed as the "fashionable part of the wealthiest and most aristocratic city in the land." The affluent neighborhood boasted majestic homes but sluggish land sales quickly transformed this elite neighborhood into a home to the middle and working classes. Click here to learn more.

(Note: You can click on most photos on this page for a larger view.)

In operation for a staggering 92 years, The Avenue B Grocery, with its creaky screen doors and vintage signs, plays a major role in keeping the small town atmosphere of the neighborhood alive. We can testify that the market makes a very tasty sandwich.

Monroe Martin Shipe, founder of Hyde Park, built a stylish, eclectic home in a subdivision within Hyde Park that he dubbed Shadowlawn. His home presented a friendly, gaily painted face to the public.

Perhaps no other home in Hyde Park captured Shipe’s vision of prestige as perfectly as the Frank and Annie Covert House. One of the cities leading businessmen, Covert opened one of Austin’s first automobile dealerships.

Built in 1925, the Mansbendel House is a perfect example of the Tudor Revival. Sherry thought everything about the house was picturesque … the arched doorway, the diamond shaped paned windows and cottage garden.

This is an example of the multitude of small craftsman bungalows that are line many of the streets in Hyde Park.

What is most striking about the Hyde Park area is how tropical it feels. There are lush green canopies of branches reaching high above and across its streets and flower and vine filled gardens. This exotic looking passion flower caught our eye.

After a horrific storm hit Austin, one of the century old trees was uprooted ... causing damage to a Hyde Park home. This is the same storm that caused considerable damage to several trees at the Texas State Capitol. Click here for a photo.

This unique sign boasts The Hyde Park Grill's award winning buttermilk dipped French fries. Yummy!

One of first structures build in the Hyde Park neighborhood was the home and studio of the illustrious German born sculptor, Elisabet Ney. This picturesque medieval looking castle is now the Elisabet Ney Museum and contains nearly 50 busts and statues of Texas heroes, as well as European royalty she sculpted as a young artist.

It was fascinating learning about one of Hyde Park’s most prominent residents … Eisabet Ney. In her day she was one of the most colorful, creative, controversial and influential women in early Texas history. She was quite the Bohemian … she didn’t take her husbands last name, was a vegetarian, decorated with only rustic handmade furniture  and often slept out of doors. Her studio ... named Formosa ... became a salon where influential Texans drawn to “Miss Ney” would come for stimulating discussions of politics, art and philosophy. These gatherings sparked the founding of institutions and museums throughout Texas to support the arts … many continue today such as the Texas Commission on the Arts, the University of Texas Art Department and the Texas Fine Arts Association.

Portrait of Elisabet Ney posing with a bust of King George V of Hanover by Friedrich Kaulbach (1860). Kaulbach was the portrait painter to the Court of Hanover as well as the aristocracy of Europe.

Elisabet Ney with her sculptures (ca. 1892).  Behind her is the statue of Stephen F. Austin ... created for the 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Her figures of Austin and Sam Houston now reside in the Texas State Capitol. You can see them here.

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