Located approximately one center from Downtown Austin, in the city’s West End area, you’ll find the Clarksville neighborhood. When you take a closer look at this area, you’ll see that this community serves many purposes. In addition to houses, you’ll find a number of commercial properties. Typically, high-rise buildings in this area have stores on the ground level. Above these shops, you’ll find either condominiums or apartments. The neighborhood features a range of more traditional and modern buildings. This includes properties that date back to the 1900s, renovated Victorian properties, and homes in a bungalow style. Because Clarksville is so close to downtown Austin, the real estate market in this community is thriving. Homes typically sell shortly after they are listed. Most of the time, there are very few homes on the market. These homes have an average size of 1700 square feet, with floor plans including two or three bedrooms. You can also find multi-family housing in the area. Since so many architectural styles are featured here, the varying styles work together seamlessly. The neighborhood has a long history, which means there are also plenty of mature trees in the area.
Where is Clarksville Located?
Both Clarksville and the nearby Old West community can be found north of downtown Austin, a few blocks from the Colorado River.
It is based in Travis County, with a zip code of 78703. The neighborhood covers the western MoPac Expressway area, the eastern part of North Lamar, the northern portion of Enfield Road, and the southern part of 5th Street.
What to Do In the Clarksville Area
Homes in the Clarksville area are just blocks away from downtown Austin. For example, Whole Foods Market’s flagship location is in walking distance of the neighborhood. It’s common for people in Austin to go for a jog or a bike ride near Lady Bird Lake before coming back to enjoy the world-class food, culture, and amenities in the area. When you are just steps away from downtown, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy everything that Austin has to offer. Because Clarksville is home to many historic buildings, it also has plenty of charms.
Clarksville is within the Austin Independent School District. This is a highly-rated district, and the schools Clarksville residents will be attending are among the best. Elementary students will be sent to Mathews Elementary for PK-5. This school is smaller than many other schools in the area. From 6-8, students will go to O. Henry Middle School. 9-12 students will attend Stephen F. Austin High School.
While Clarksville’s location makes in an excellent place to live, you’ll have a deeper appreciation for this area if you look more closely at its history. The neighborhood gets its name from its founder, Charles Clark, a freedman that established the area in 1871. It’s the only freedom town in the United States that still exists. Within the community, you’ll find Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church, which was established back in 1882. Matthew’s Elementary School also has a long history; it was founded back in 1916.
There are many reasons that Clarksville is a great area to live in. Since European settlers first visited the area at the dawn of the 1900s, the community has been a wonderful place for entrepreneurs. Some businesses that were established during this time, like Anthony’s Dry Cleaning & Laundry, and Nau’s Pharmacy, still exist today. The majority of properties in the Clarksville area are a short walk away from the original Whole Foods Market.
Because Clarksville is home to so many parks, residents of the area tend to be active. There’s something for every member of the family here, including a splash pad, a dog park, a city pool, and many running and cycling trails. You can find houses here that suit any taste. There are spacious historic properties, modern homes with luxury amenities, bungalows, and properties that look like they belong in a storybook. You can find many condominiums in the area as well. There are two dining and shopping districts in the area as well. One is located on West 6th Street, while the other can be found on West Lynn. There is a lot to enjoy in these districts, from eateries like Galaxy Café, Josephine House, and Jeffery’s, to the impressive art galleries located on West 6th. Virtually any buyer will find something to love here.
The AISD is known for being highly diverse. Students in the district speak over 20 languages, and students come from more than 40 countries. While all the schools in the area are highly-rated, parents are especially interested in sending their children to Matthew’s Elementary School, a historic school. When you live in Clarksville, you can enjoy modern amenities while staying in touch with the past. The excellent location, shops in walking distance, and amazing trails are just additional perks. It’s hard to beat visiting Nau’s Pharmacy and seeing the original soda fountain!
What Makes Clarksville a Fantastic Place to Live
Clarksville clearly offers plenty of amenities. It’s just a short distance to downtown, it’s beautifully maintained, and it has plenty of natural greenery. However, one of the things that truly makes this community special is its history. Residents in the area have worked hard to keep this from becoming lost.
The ground that the community was once the site of the slave quarters for the mansion of Governor Elisha Pease. That mansion can still be found a few blocks north of the community. When the Civil War was ended, portions of that land were sold or granted to Pease’s former slaves by Pease himself. One former slave, Charles Clark, was able to buy two acres of land. He sold parcels of that land to other freed slaves. From there, residents began to build houses. Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church was constructed during that time as well. Unfortunately, the 1928 master plan meant that minority residents were forced to remain in East Austin. This was because they were denied access to services in the rest of the city. Clarksville’s streets weren’t paved until the 1970s. During that decade, Mopac Expressway was built. A third of the neighborhood was destroyed during that time. Previously, the community extended further west.
There were also plans to construct a crosstown expressway, which would have destroyed the remaining parts of Clarksville. However, residents in the area worked together to ensure that those plans were not implemented. The Clarksville Community Development Corporation was established in 1978. This was a resident-lead organization that included members like Mary Frances Freeman Baylor, who became the namesake for a park, and Pauline Brown, who the Clarksville community center was named after. Once Clarksville had better drainage and paved streets, developers began to take notice. This caused prices to go up, which forced a number of African-American families out of the neighborhood. To prevent residents from being displaced, the CCDC focused on building and acquiring affordable properties.