Mid-Century Modern

Highland Park West / Balcones Area Neighborhood History Article: St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church & Reverend Malcolm P. Riker

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The story of St. Matthew’s Episcopal church really has to start with the priest who founded it: Reverend Malcolm Riker. Reverend Malcolm Riker Born in Austin February 12, 1925, he grew up in Austin (article references his mother living at 2300 Leon) and attended Austin High School.  He graduated from the University of Texas – […]

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Highland Park West / Balcones Area Neighborhood History Article: Highland Park and Highland Village Subdivisions

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Before turning to some other neighborhood history topics, I wanted to cover two other major subdivisions that are part of the HPWBA neighborhood association, but just east of Mopac. Highland Park:  Edgar Perry purchased the land for Highland Park from two property owners: John L Preston and A F Thiele in January 1946.  The development […]

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Highland Park West / Balcones Area Neighborhood History Article: The Beverly Hills Subdivision

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The Beverly Hills Subdivision was developed in two sections by builder S. R. Sheppard, a successful Austin builder.  Described in advertising as “Beautiful Beverly Hills: Austin’s Exclusive Hilltop Subdivision Where Every Lot Provides A Scenic View”, Section 1 was given final approval by the Austin City Council in February, 1953 (34 lots)[1], and Section 2 […]

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Highland Park West / Balcones Area Neighborhood History Article: Highland Park West Development – Part 3

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I mentioned in a previous article about the innovative design of the neighborhood center: an elementary school, park and community shopping center, all “uncut by roads” so that “children can go from school to park to shopping center without crossing a single street.”[1]  So I wanted to expand a little on the shopping center. The […]

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Highland Park West / Balcones Area Neighborhood History Article: Highland Park West Development – Part 2

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It is important to remember that the subdivisions we call our neighborhood today were far out of town in the late 1940’s.  To generate interest and convince folks to make the drive out, some creative marketing and advertising campaigns were employed. One of the first homes built in the neighborhood was 4902 Balcones Dr, built […]

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