It's Not Just a ZIP Code
Contact: Peter Hess, 2502 Rock Terrace Drive, 441-2049, email@example.com; Pat Whiteside, 2307 Barton Hills Drive, 443-4879
Boundaries:N -- Intersection of Barton Springs Road and Robert E. Lee; S and W -- Barton Creek; E -- Robert E. Lee to Rabb to Rae Dell to Barton Skyway to South Lamar
Developed in the 1950s and 1960s, this is the most "Ward 'n' June" of all the Inner Southside neighborhoods, probably because it has no commercial corridors and few through streets. You're unlikely to end up in Barton Hills by accident, and most non-residents only see it by looking up from the Barton Creek Greenbelt. This neighborhood used to be so "average" that its main voting precinct (342) was studied by poli-sci experts around the country as a "bellwether" ballot box. Today, it's more mainstream Austin than mainstream America, but it's still the easiest place on the Southside to find a lemonade stand. The neighborhood association is one of the city's oldest.
Bouldin Creek Neighborhood Association
Contact: Gary Hyatt, 1804 Eva, 447-5402, firstname.lastname@example.org; Ron Dittmar, 904 Ebony, 442-8120, email@example.com
Boundaries: N-- Town Lake; S -- Oltorf; E -- South Congress; W -- Union Pacific RR (one block east of South Lamar)
Back in the day, the blocks that lie within today's BCNA were parts of about a dozen separate (mostly pre-WWII) additions and subdivisions. Even today, what many Austinites think of as "Bouldin" proper is just the southwestern quadrant of the NA, down along South Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh streets. (Certainly the eastern half of the NA, south of the School for the Deaf, is thought by many outsiders to be a separate neighborhood.) The NA, however, includes the Palmer Auditorium complex, which has been a source of one controversy after another since even before the Great Turtle was built in 1958, and the years of ongoing struggle have helped make BCNA one of the city's more sophisticated, powerful, and political neighborhood associations.
Dawson Neighborhood Association
Contact: Cynthia A. Medlin, 2501 Wilson, 206-5776; Donald J. Dodson, 2601 Wilson, 416-1251, firstname.lastname@example.org
Boundaries: N -- Oltorf; S -- Ben White; E -- South Congress; W -- South First
Though the neighborhood -- site of the first major postwar development push to the south -- has been around for decades, the DNA itself has only existed for about five years. But they've certainly been fun-filled and action-packed years: Since its formation, the Dawson NA has locked horns with the Texas Dept. of Transportation over the Ben White freeway project, fought to protect and rehabilitate East Bouldin Creek, gone on the offensive against the seemingly endemic South Congress sex trade, and pulled off the city's first bona fide adopted neighborhood plan. All this work has made Dawson more visible and a little more fashionable, a potentially ironic twist considering that gentrification is one of the neighbors' chief concerns. Whenever you hear someone talking about the "revitalization of South Austin," odds are they're talking about Dawson.
Galindo Elementary Neighborhood Assoc.
Contact: Rolando Pina, 807-B Cumberland, 441-2062; Nick Ulrich, 701 Huerta, 447-5883
Boundaries: N -- Oltorf; S -- Ben White; E -- South First; W -- Union Pacific RR
Kinney Road Neighborhood Association
Contact: Michael Esposito, 2404 Kinney, 440-7063, email@example.com;
Grace Meyer, 1702 Ravey Street, 442-2994
Boundaries: N -- South Lamar; S -- End of Southland Drive; E -- End of Ravey; W -- Bluebonnet Lane to Del Curto Road
Both of these NAs lie in South Central Austin's far southwest corner -- an area that, like St. Johns in the north, is more socially isolated than its geographic location would indicate. Indeed, except for the small Kinney Road group, the south-of-Oltorf stretch between Lamar and the railroad tracks has no NA at all. East of the tracks, the new Galindo Elementary NA -- which also includes the other big institution in the area, San Jose Church -- was formed with assistance from the adjacent Dawson NA.
South River City Citizens
Contact: Rene Barrera, 1611 Brackenridge, 443-4976, firstname.lastname@example.org; Laura Toups-Berland, P.O. Box 26912 (78755), 443-9730
Boundaries: N-- Town Lake to I-35 to Riverside; S -- Ben White ; E -- Parker Lane to Oltorf to I-35; W -- South Congress
As with Bouldin, the neighborhood we call "Travis Heights" -- which is itself much larger than the historical Travis Heights subdivision -- is just one sector of the sprawling SRCC domain, which stretches south to beyond St. Edward's University and east past I-35 to Parker Lane. Though this is a pretty diverse set of neighborhoods, the SRCC has focused on a core mission shared by all: "To involve all citizens living within our boundaries in the business of preserving the integrity of several residential areas." With about 25 years of work under its belt, the SRCC -- which is organized into several geographic sectors -- has gotten quite adept at fulfilling this mission through several cycles of political and economic turmoil.
Zilker Neighborhood Association
Contact: Kaye Trybus, 1704 Kerr, 447-4437; Charles Whitford, 510 Cater, 443-2055
Boundaries:N -- Town Lake ("including the historic Lamar Bridge"); S -- Barton Skyway; E --Union Pacific RR to Oltorf to South Lamar; W -- Barton Creek to Robert E. Lee to Rabb to Rae Dell
Most of this neighborhood, next to but quite different from Barton Hills, was historically known as Barton Heights; the ZNA dates back, meaningfully, to the day before the 1981 Memorial Day flood. "We took the message of the flood as an incentive to get involved in sensible planning," the ZNA Web site notes. Zilker is still about the most accessible neighborhood -- physically, socially, and economically -- on the south shore of Town Lake, though it has also borne the brunt of that accessibility, with seemingly no end to development and redevelopment, and the attendant traffic, along South Lamar and Barton Springs Road. And, of course, it's the closest neighborhood to Barton Springs itself, which the ZNA describes as "our most famous resident."
South Central Coalition
Contact: Tom Larkin, 1100 South Fifth, 442-4845; Kit Krankel, 1002 Bouldin, 474-1632
Boundaries: N -- Town Lake to I-35 to Riverside; S -- Ben White to Loop 360; E -- Parker Lane to Oltorf to I-35; W -- Barton Creek
This umbrella group helps coordinate several South Central Austin planning efforts and initiatives, such as the redevelopment of South Congress Avenue, and includes representation from throughout the Inner Southside.
Barton Springs Merchants Association
Contact: Paul M. Norris, 1530 Barton Springs Rd, 349-7575; Marcia Williams, 1623 Toomey, 473-2783.
Boundaries: N -- Town Lake; S -- Barton Springs Road; E -- South Congress; W -- Zilker Park
Most of the merchants are restaurateurs along the Barton Springs eatery strip in the old Pecan Grove, whose agendas famously differ from those of the "adjacent" neighborhoods. Actually, Restaurant Row is supposed to be part of those neighborhoods, but that hasn't seemed to matter much during the last year's worth of battles over the rebuilding of Barton Springs Road.