The Nelson house was built in the early 1870’s and was a farmhouse with several out buildings. It was built before the streets were put in so it sits crooked to the street and was sited for the least amount of heat gain from the sun in the summer. The two cottages were added in the 1920’s. The home passed from the Nelson family to several owners and the present owners bought it in 1980 and remodeled it into a preschool that served this neighborhood for 20 years. In 1999 it was remodeled again into the home and rental units it is today.
The Nelson house is located in the Old West Austin/Greater Clarksville neighborhood. Located just a mile from the Capital, Congress Ave, and the heart of downtown, this neighborhood has a varied and lively history. Originally farms, after the Civil War part of this area was turned into a black neighborhood to house the former slaves that chose to stay on and work on the farms for pay. The black foreman in charge of parceling out the lots was named Clark – hence Clarksville. Over the next hundred years the farms were slowly developed into middle and upper middle class white neighborhoods. In the 1950’s and 60’s the area, under threat of being demolished for a freeway that was never built, fell into disrepair and became a popular place for UT students to find cheap rent close to campus. About 1970 the neighborhood began a renaissance and gentrification that continues today. It has become one of the most desirable neighborhoods in town, particularly for professionals and young families, with its good public schools, great restaurants and retail within walking distance and a location that lets its residents avoid many of the city’s traffic problems. Although some of the houses (including the main Nelson House) date to the 19th century, the predominant architecture is 20th century cottages and bungalows, with a scattering of modern homes added recently.
*We don’t allow parties unless you have been given permission ahead of time.