Bouldin Creek, Austin, Texas
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Bouldin Creek is an older neighborhood in Austin, Texas, originally created at the turn of the 20th century. With several historic homes remaining from that era, and countless more from the period of rapid growth in the 1920s and 30s that followed, this neighborhood has an undeniable historic charm. Bouldin Creek is also highly diverse, with a variety of cultures, backgrounds, and architectural styles blending together, resulting in a neighborhood that is uniquely Austin.
Bouldin Creek borders the South Congress area to the east, and the major commercial area centered around South First to the west, with its marked Hispanic influence, forms another backbone of the neighborhood. Given its proximity to these areas and to Downtown Austin, there are certainly areas of Bouldin Creek that have changed as result of gentrification, but the historic nature of the neighborhood and eccentricity of its residents mean it will always be a little bit different. For those who doubt the "weirdness" of South Austin, look no further than David Ansel, a famous resident who left his job in the tech sector to become The Soup Peddler; no one better captures the spirit of the neighborhood.
Bouldin Creek's diverse roots are visible everywhere. In just a quick walk around the neighborhood, one can find the historic Victorian mansion Green Pastures once belonging to famous activist John Henry Faulk, the St. Anne African Methodist Episcopal Church (originally constructed in 1916) on Newton Street, and the beautiful mission-style Holy Name of Mary Orthodox Church at South Third Street. In the South First area, the Mexican bakeries, tattoo shops, art galleries, and unusual shops reflect the diversity of the neighborhood and the resident's desire to support local business. Another integral part of the neighborhood is the Texas School for the Deaf; its enormous campus occupies the entire area bounded by South Congress, Elizabeth Street, Barton Springs Road, and South First. Originally created in the mid-19th century, the school underwent a massive renovation and expansion during the early 1990s.
Today, the spirit of the neighborhood is concentrated in the efforts of the Bouldin Creek Neighborhood Association (BCNA, http://www.bouldincreek.org/), which arbitrates development and city initiatives with the neighborhood's residents.
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