Highland Park West is the type of neighborhood people think of when they consider Austin – but will never find again. Homes with Hill Country hillsides and trees, large preserved parkland, simple access to the quickest interior roadways in the region and neighborhood schools are what make Highland Park West unique and desirable.
Bounded generally by R.R. 2222 on the north, 35th St. to the south, the rise to Mt. Bonnell on the west and MoPac Expressway to the east, Highland Park West includes some of the most impressive home sites Austin has to offer.
Yet it is still a neighborhood, unpretentious and classic.
Homes average 2,800 square feet, but there are some smaller homes and some as large as 7,000 square feet within the boundaries. Within it’s neighborhood are some of the cornerstones of Austin history. Texas National Guard Camp Mabry, 375 acres with 125 years of history, is part of the neighborhood.
About half the western boundary of the neighborhood abuts the 216-acre Bright Leaf Nature Preserve. Bright Leaf is provided by the philanthropy of Georgia Lucas. She purchased the land in 34 separate real estate transactions in order to put together the property she named Bright Leaf. It is now a place for visitors to take guided hikes to learn about the land and as a place of reflection and meditation. It operates under the auspices of the Austin Community Foundation, which is committed to maintaining the area and upholding the Lucas will. To gather such contiguous undeveloped land within the city limits of Austin today would be impossible.
The smaller but as neighborly Perry Park and playground are also part of Highland Park West. Located next to Highland Park Elementary School, Perry is a former limestone quarry along the Balcones Fault that is critical to forming the Hill Country and created geologic features to explore. Perry Park includes a soccer and baseball field, and lighted tennis courts along with the standard swings and teeter totters of a playground.
The neighborhood association is active and there are several annual events for residents including an Easter Egg hunt, Fourth of July parade, movies night at Perry Park, and picnic in the park.
Highland Park Elementary – a national blue ribbon school — is the neighborhood educational basis. Students in the neighborhood attend Lamar Middle School. Not only is it a fine academic institution with an 83 percent passing rate in all subjects on the 2016 STARR test, but Lamar is the district’s fine arts magnet school, drawing talented students from across Austin. Lamar trains those talents in visual arts, dance, band, orchestra, choral music, drama, classical guitar, piano, digital arts and media. Lamar boasts a nationally recognized Jazz Factory band, named the top middle school jazz ensemble in the nation in the Mark of Excellence Recording Competition from The Foundation for Music Education in 2013 and 2014. Lamar is a feeder program for the McCallum High School Fine Arts program, which has been honored as a Grammy Foundation national Signature School.
With MoPac Expressway forming one of the neighborhood borders, access to almost everything in Austin is simple, from the towering downtown to shops, groceries and restaurants.
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