Barton Hills Austin Neighborhood
In 1837, William "Uncle Billy" Barton set up his pioneer homestead near a natural spring on the Southern bank of the Colorado River, naming the springs after his daughters Parthenia, Eliza and Zenobia. Their names did not stick, but Uncle Billy's did and 160 years later the springs, the pool and several popular Austin neighborhoods bear the name Barton. The picturesque Hill Country waterway, Barton Creek, now serves as the border to the Barton Hills neighborhood on the East bank and MoPac acts as the Western border. The Southern and Northern borders are Highway 360 and Barton Springs Road, respectively.
Barton Hills was first developed in the 1940s, but really took off in 1956 when the annual Austin's Parade of Homes was held there with the slogan "the largest air conditioned suburb in the world." Today, its hilly, meandering streets are lined with ranch-style homes whose residents enjoy easy access to Zilker Park and Town Lake on its Northern edge. Low-rise apartments and condos in the neighborhood are mostly on the Western edge along Mopac and the Northern edge along Barton Hills Drive. At its Southwestern edge it has easy access to South Lamar Boulevard and Loop 360. The neighborhood elementary schools consistently get top marks from state education officials, making Barton Hills a popular location for young families.
The Barton Hills neighborhood is all about location and proximity. There are few stores or cafes in the immediate area, but the commercial centers along Bee Caves Road into Westlake Hills provide all the amenities. Or Barton Hills residents can drive South on Lamar to the shopping centers at the intersection of Lamar and Ben White Boulevards where they will find what is popularly known as the Bubbaretum -- the nickname is a nod to the notion that South Austin is Bubba-friendly (Bubbas, in this case, having more in common with aging hippies than rednecks), in contrast to Northwest Austin's chic shopping center at The Arboretum. The center is home to Central Market, a Borders bookstore and a Whole Earth store, plus a nearby Target. Of course, the Barton Hills area is just minutes from downtown Austin and also there is easy access to Barton Springs Road “restaurant row” where Shady Grove, and Chuy's, among other popular spots, can be found.
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