Austin Northwest Downtown Architecture Walk (Self Guided), Austin

Northwest downtown Austin has an impressive collection of historic residences of notable architecture. Carefully preserved and restored, the buildings are a major part of Austin's cultural heritage, with a wide range of houses and mansions, from classic Victorian and Georgian designs to Greek Revival. This quiet stroll is peaceful compared to one on the crowded Congress Avenue.
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Austin Northwest Downtown Architecture Walk Map

Guide Name: Austin Northwest Downtown Architecture Walk
Guide Location: USA » Austin (See other walking tours in Austin)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.2 Km or 3.2 Miles
Author: christine
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Henry Hirshfeld House and Cottage
  • Bremond Block Historic District
  • Robinson-Macken House
  • Fischer House
  • Brizendine House
  • Goodman Building
  • Goodall Wooten House
  • Neill-Cochran House Museum
  • Texas Federation of Women's Clubs Headquarters
  • Littlefield House
  • Scottish Rite Dormitory
1
Henry Hirshfeld House and Cottage

1) Henry Hirshfeld House and Cottage

The Henry Hirshfeld House and Cottage are two historic homes in downtown Austin, Texas originally inhabited by the prominent Hirshfeld family. The cottage, built in 1873, housed Henry and his wife Jennie until the larger house was built in 1885. The homes have been well-preserved and today house the Office of Governmental Relations for the Texas A&M University System. The buildings were added together to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

Designed and built by architect John Andrewartha, Henry Hirshfeld House features characteristics of Victorian and Eastlake styling. Exterior ornamentation includes a double gallery, a bay, strained glass, ornate woodwork, and intricate limestone detailing. The two-story stick style carriage house was built soon after completion of the main residence.

Hirshfeld had one-story stone cottage built for his family in 1873. It features a widow's walk on the roof and jigsaw detailing on the porch. After the family moved to their new residence on the adjacent east lot in 1888, the cottage was maintained as rental property.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Bremond Block Historic District

2) Bremond Block Historic District (must see)

The Bremond Block Historic District is a collection of eleven historic homes in downtown Austin, constructed from the 1850s to 1910.

The block was added to National Register of Historic Places in 1970, and is considered one of the few remaining upper-class Victorian neighborhoods of the middle to late nineteenth century in Texas. Six of these houses were built or expanded for members of the families of brothers Eugene and John Bremond, who were prominent in late-nineteenth-century Austin social, merchandising, and banking circles. They are located within the square block bordered by West Seventh, West Eighth, Guadalupe, and San Antonio streets. The district also includes several houses on the west side of San Antonio and the south side of West Seventh, at least three of which were built or altered by the North family.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Robinson-Macken House

3) Robinson-Macken House

The Robinson-Macken House is a historic home in west downtown Austin, located at 702 Rio Grande.

Built in 1876 for the family of Elizabeth and John Robinson, Sr., this two-and-half-story farm house is a fine example of the Second Empire style of architecture coupled with Italianate detailing.

Located within the original 1839 Austin town plan drawn by Edwin Waller, it is in close proximity to the house built by the locally prominent Bremond family. It shares stylistic similarities with the Bremond house, now preserved as the Bremond Block Historic District. The Robinson's son, Eugene, purchased the house from the other Robinson heirs in 1902. The house was purchased in 1928 by Joe and Bridget Macken, in whose family it remained until 1983. Both John Robinson and Joe Macken were Austin community leaders, serving at different times as chief of the volunteer fire department and city alderman. Prominent features of the l-plan Robinson-Macken house include projecting bay windows with classical detailing, fine milled wood elements, dormer windows, and a mansard roof.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Fischer House

4) Fischer House

The Fischer House is a historic mansion in downtown Austin, completed in 1882. Its builder, Joseph Fischer, was a prominent mason in Austin at the time, and its bold high Victorian era, Italianate architecture and ornamentation reflect his family's skill in the trade.

The home is located at 1008 West Avenue. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 16, 1982.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Brizendine House

5) Brizendine House

The Brizendine House is a historic home in downtown Austin, constructed circa 1870. The building is located on 11th Street and is today surrounded by an annex to the Travis County Courthouse and the Blackwell/Thurman Criminal Justice Center. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

This simple vernacular rough ashlar house represents the life style of the late 19th century working middle class family in Austin. The exterior proportions of the structure reflect Victorian influence. Built of limestone about 1870 by John R. Brizendine (1829–1914), an Austin carpenter, machinist, and miller. Brizendine, a native of Kentucky, lived here until his death. Mrs. Elizabeth Gordon bought the home in 1928, and members of her family lived here until 1972.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Goodman Building

6) Goodman Building

The Goodman Building is a late Victorian style historic commerce building in downtown Austin, Texas. It was constructed as a grocery in the mid-1880s to serve Austinites northwest of the Texas State Capitol.

Today is serves as a state government adjunct office. A local bar, "The Cloak Room," occupies the basement and is a favorite for government employees. It is located at 202 W. 13th Street. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Goodall Wooten House

7) Goodall Wooten House

The Goodall Wooten House is a historic home built in 1898-1900 in Austin. It was built by local doctor and benefactor Goodall H. Wooten and his wife Ella and was noted for its Classical Revival architecture and lush gardens.

The building has served many purposes since passing out of the Wooten family in 1944, such as a student residence hall, a chemical dependency treatment center, and currently, a luxury hotel called "The Mansion at Judges' Hill." The structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 3, 1975.

The house has three stories and a basement. The basement had servant sleeping quarters, a game room and storage. The first floor boasted an impressive entry foyer, sitting room, music room, dining room and kitchen. The second floor had four bedrooms, another sitting room, a bathroom and a room for Wooten's extensive gun collection. There was room in the attic for more storage.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Neill-Cochran House Museum

8) Neill-Cochran House Museum

The Neill-Cochran House Museum is a historic home in north-central Austin, a few blocks west of the University of Texas. It was built in 1855 as a suburban estate many years before the surrounding area was settled by other homes and businesses. In 1876, the home was sold to Colonel Andrew Neill, a Confederate veteran. Neill lived there with his wife Jennie Chapman Neill, who stayed on after Neill's death and in 1893 rented the home to Judge Thomas Beauford Cochran. The two-story Greek Revival home was designed and constructed by noted master builder Abner Cook and features prominent Doric columns and Mr. Cook's signature "sheaf of wheat" balusters.

Operation hours: Wednesday – Sunday: 1 pm – 4 pm

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
Texas Federation of Women's Clubs Headquarters

9) Texas Federation of Women's Clubs Headquarters

The Texas Federation of Women's Clubs Headquarters, now referred to as simply "The Mansion," is a Georgian Revival mansion located on the southwest corner of 24th Street and San Gabriel Street in Austin. The building was completed in 1931 to be the headquarters for the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs, with assistance from local philanthropist Clara Driscoll. It was designed by Dallas architect Henry Coke Knight.

The building sits adjacent to the historic Neill-Cochran House and is a prominent feature of the Judge's Hill neighborhood, to the west of the University of Texas.

It is one of the best remaining examples of Georgian Revival architecture in Texas. Today it is mostly used to host weddings and receptions, though every Thursday night since 1999 the Austin Swing Syndicate holds a swing dance on the 4,000 sq ft (370 m2) sprung polished oak floors of the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs Headquarters.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
10
Littlefield House

10) Littlefield House

The Littlefield House is an historic home in Austin on the campus of the University of Texas. The home was built in 1893 for Civil War veteran George Littlefield, who was a successful businessman in the bank and cattle trades and a major benefactor to UT. It was designed using the popular Victorian style.

While living in the house, Major Littlefield and his wife Alice made a tremendous number of contributions to the university, including funds for the Littlefield Fountain, the Main Building, and the Littlefield Dormitory. They also developed the Littlefield Building downtown, finished in 1912.

When Alice Littlefield died in 1935, she left the home to the university. Today it is used for storage and office space by the Office of Resource Development.

George Littlefield had a "Deodar Cedar" (Cedrus deodara), or "Himalayan Cedar" imported from the Himalayas and planted on the property. Littlefield even had the soil where the tree was to be placed dug up and replaced with Himalayan soil. Arguably one of the most interesting trees on campus, the approximately 35-foot tree is located on the southwest side of the house, and is readily discernible by its distinctive horizontal layers.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
11
Scottish Rite Dormitory

11) Scottish Rite Dormitory

The Scottish Rite Dormitory is a private women's dorm for the University of Texas built and operated by the Scottish rite of Freemasons in Austin, Texas. Located just north of campus on 27th Street and Whitis Avenue, the colonial revival style building was completed in 1922 during a housing shortage on campus and was intended to provide housing for the daughters and relatives of Master Masons.

Since its origin the building has relaxed its entry requirements somewhat, but is still well-known among UT students for its strict rules against male visitors. It is one of the more expensive private dorms in the UT area. Many girls are wait-listed for entry to the dorm beginning in high school or earlier.

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Austin, Texas

Create Your Own Walk in Austin

Create Your Own Walk in Austin

Creating your own self-guided walk in Austin is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Children Entertainment Tour in Austin

Children Entertainment Tour in Austin

While taking the children on a walk in downtown Austin, entertain yourselves with an educational and enjoyable tour, including a nature center, interactive plays, museums and parks.Take the following tour to discover the best kids' entertainment Austin has to offer.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 Km or 3.5 Miles
Shopping Tour in Austin

Shopping Tour in Austin

Austin has several shopping areas. While the main drag near the University of Texas is known for great affordable shops and vintage finds, downtown Austin is famous for its exquisite apparel shops and amazing one-of-a-kind stores, offering unique Texan boots, hats, music-themed gift shops, high quality wine and great record stores. The main shopping areas are located on Congress Avenue and 6th...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Famous Downtown Churches in Austin

Famous Downtown Churches in Austin

Downtown Austin contains many places of worship. Numerous communities from all over the world are responsible for the variety of Austin’s beautiful churches and cathedrals. These magnificent edifices are notable for their wonderful architecture and rich history.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 Km or 3.4 Miles
Congress Avenue Architecture Walk

Congress Avenue Architecture Walk

Congress Avenue is the main street in Austin and historically the first one. Since the city's establishment, the street has grown and developed and now bears the mark of Austin’s historical and cultural evolution from the 19th century to today. From the State Capitol grounds to Lady Bird Lake, modern skyscrapers stand next to old two and three story buildings, making for an interesting...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles
Cultural Walk in Austin North Downtown

Cultural Walk in Austin North Downtown

North downtown Austin is the location of the most noted museums and galleries in the city. From history museums and science centers, to the restored Neill-Cochran House, art galleries and the Lyndon Johnson Library. Many attractions await visitors on this tour of Austin’s north downtown area.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 Km or 2.9 Miles
Austin Museum Walk

Austin Museum Walk

Austin has a wide range of museums dedicated to art, music, literature and history. The beautiful Victorian Bremond District preserves some of the city’s most stunning architecture. This tour will introduce some of Austin’s most prominent museums.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles