Allandale is a neighborhood in North Central Austin, Texas, notable for its big lots, mature trees, and central position.
Burnet Road and the Brentwood and Crestview neighborhoods are to the east, Mopac Expressway and the Northwest Hills area are to the west, 45th Street and the Rosedale neighborhood are to the south, and West Anderson Lane and the North Shoal Creek neighborhood are to the north. The area is divided by Shoal Creek Blvd and its namesake, the perennial Shoal Creek.
The area presently known as the Allandale neighborhood was originally part of a property grant made to George W. Davis by the President of the Republic of Texas, Mirabeau B Lamar, in 1841 in recognition of his participation in the Battle of San Jacinto. Davis (and his descendants) sold the most of the 3,154 acres he was granted over the years; nevertheless, the Davis family cemetery, a Texas Historical Cemetery, is located in Allandale. A section of the grounds sold by the Davis family became part of Frank Richcreek’s family farm, the Kirchner dairy farm, and tiny subdivisions established in the 1930s. This changed in 1946, when W. Murray Graham, known as the “dean of the Austin real estate profession” and key in establishing the Enfield, Tarrytown, and Bryker Woods areas, began platting the earliest parts of the Allandale neighborhood, quickly followed by Allandale Oaks in 1951. Other developers platted other parts of Allandale, such as Allandale Terrace, Allandale Park, and Allandale West.
Mr. W. H. Bullard built Allandale West (the property north of Northland, south of Gullett Elementary School, and between the Union Pacific railroad tracks and Shoal Creek) in 1958. John Miller, a long-time neighborhood resident and friend of Mr. Bullard, provided insight behind the naming of some of Allandale West’s street names.
Bullard (Dr), Clarice (Ct), Long time employee of Mr. Bullard’s Carleen (Dr), Wife of the project’s civil engineer Sarah (Ct), Mr. Bullard’s secretary Gena (Ct), Daughter of Mr. Bullard’s secretary Janey (Dr), Daughter of Mr. Bullard’s secretary Louise (Ln), Mr. Bullard’s mother and daughter’s names Marilyn (Dr), Wife of Mr. Bullard’s law partner Su
On Memorial Day 1981, eleven inches of rain fell in three hours in some parts of Austin. Shoal Creek, which normally flows at 90 gallons per minute, was raging at 6.55 million gallons per minute at the peak of the storm around midnight. By dawn, 13 people had been killed, hundreds of homes had been wrecked, and Shoal Creek was choked with dozens of new vehicles that had swept into the creek from a neighboring dealership.
Discovered Plesiosaur Fossil
In 1991, local dentist and amateur paleontologist Robert McDonald discovered plesiosaur bones in Shoal Creek at Greenlawn Parkway and Shoal Creek Blvd. A concrete stamp showing the fossil can be found at the Great Northern detention pond spillway.
The majority of the residences in Allandale are ranch type slab on grade homes. However, east of Shoal Creek Blvd and south of Greenlawn Pkwy, there are pockets of mid-century modern houses mixed in with more classic ranch style homes. However, in recent years, rather of being rehabilitated, several vacant lots and older homes have been demolished and rebuilt into 21st century, modernist residential designs.
Village With Air Conditioning
A section of Allandale defined by Twin Oaks Dr to the south, Addison Ave to the north, Daugherty St to the east, and Nasco Dr to the west played a unique role in demonstrating that interior air conditioning could be inexpensive and feasible in middle-class homes. The experimental Air Conditioned Village, funded by the National Association of Home Builders and examined by scientists from not just the University of Texas, but also the US Department of Energy, opened in 1954 to assess the effects of air conditioning on middle-class residential design. Some of the original 22 homes in the development are still intact and tell a fascinating story of how this small area of the Allandale played a crucial role in delivering indoor air conditioning to the middle-class household.
Traditions in the neighborhood
Fourth of July Parade
Rv. John Lovett had the concept for a neighborhood parade in 1960. The Frank Tuttles and another family or two assisted him in arranging the first Allandale procession. Since then, the 4th of July procession has become a local tradition.
Candy Canes: A Holiday Tradition
The neighborhood started a unique endeavor, lighted Christmas candy canes, in the early 1960s. Often assumed to be a present from the developers to homeowners who bought houses around Christmas, the tradition was begun by many neighborhood males who walked Carleen and took orders, roughly $2.50 per cane or $5.00 for a cane and lighting. Stovepipes were built in separate garages and then hung on a long wire for painting. Each cane was completed with a few yards of wide red plastic ribbon and a bow. The work crew even installed the canes to ensure a consistent angle and spacing. As new streets were developed, new neighbors were asked to participate in the candy cane initiative. Within two years, almost every home had one or two illuminated canes. Cub Scout Pack 55 revived the Candy Canes fundraiser in 1994.
Garage Sale Throughout the Neighborhood
A neighborhood-wide garage sale was organized in 2005. The goal of the garage sale is to encourage neighbors to sell discarded items that are still valuable to others and to partake in a community-wide event. Unsold items are frequently collected by Allandale Neighborhood Association volunteers and donated to a local charity.
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