The Austin City Council passed an ordinance allowing for the establishment of local historic districts (“LHDs”) with the stated purpose of preservation.
In 1851 Elijah Sterling Clark Robertson built Judges Hill’s first home near the corner of 18th and San Gabriel. The house was subsequently demolished in 1966. Over the last century many historic homes have been destroyed in the Old Judges Hill area, but the current teardown trend evident in Tarrytown, Travis Heights and other parts of town -- one that irreparably changes the character of a neighborhood as fine historic homes are demolished to make way for new houses -- has not taken hold in the Old Judges Hill area. Nor has the other current building trend, i.e. high-rise residential towers, taken hold in the area as it has in Downtown Austin.
Residents have expressed a desire to maintain the neighborhood’s current land use pattern, but they recognize the difficult issues involved in trying to preserve a neighborhood while also respecting the rights of the property owners within it. To this end, a Local Historic District Committee has submitted an application to the City of Austin to establish the Old Judges Hill Local Historic District.