Clarksville in Austin, Texas

Clarksville is: walkable, bikeable, neighborly, richly historic, Central and charming.

Settled Originally as a Freedomtown by Former Slaves

Clarksville is geographically part of the Old West Austin area, however its character is utterly distinct from Tarrytown and Enfield. This community is one of the oldest surviving freedomtowns; the original post-Civil War, west of Mississippi settlements by former slaves. The neighborhood was inducted into the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 in recognition of its unique hi story within Austin. Clarksville was founded by freedman Charles Clark in 1871. Clark built a house on what is now West Tenth Street, and subdivided the remainder of the land to other freed slaves. The Sweet Home Baptist Church, a cornerstone of the community to this day, was founded prior to 1882.


The neighborhood’s historic charm has been preserved to a large degree. Many of the original homes remain. The Clarksville Historic District is defined as a collection of historic homes and structures west of downtown near Lady Bird Lake, and just northeast of the intersection of the Missouri Pacific Railroad and West Tenth Street. Another description of boundaries suggests Clarksville extends from MoPac to North Lamar Blvd. (East to West); and from West 6th Street to West 15th Street (North to South).

Clarksville residents are within shouting distance of Austin’s vibrant downtown; minutes from clubs, restaurants and live events. It’s near bustling 6th Street and Lamar–the site to Whole Foods, Book People, Waterloo Records and Amy’s Ice Cream. Interestingly as a side note, Whole Foods was home grown via a merger with Clarksville Natural Grocery.

Getting Around Clarksville

One can “go local” easily by foot or bicycle in Clarksville and there is a lot to explore.

Outdoor Activities

Residents enjoy strolling through gently hilled streets. Two parks, Clarksville Park and West Austin Park, offer a cool respite. Each has a wading pool during summer months. Majestic Zilker Park is only a few blocks south with lakeside hike and bike trails, beach volleyball courts, large open fields and Barton Springs Pool. Northeast of Clarksville is another cyclist destination, the Shoal Creek Hike and Bike Trail. For those who wish to dig in, Clarksville has an active community garden.

Coffee Shops and Restaurants

Clarksville is full of cafes, coffee shops and restaurants, especially along West Lynn. Top destination eateries such as Jeffrey’s, Cipollina, Café Medici, Galaxy Diner, Josephine House and Clark’s Oyster Bar are there to enjoy. and authentic 1950s Nau’s Drugstore are there to enjoy.  Sledd’s Nursery is one of the most respected garden centers in town and one of the first to encourage organic gardening.

Real Estate

Clarksville has been around more than a 120 years and Central Austin land value has been steadily increasing. Clarksville offers an appealing mix of apartments, condos and homes. Original and thoughtfully restored bungalows are highly coveted. Car enthusiasts be advised…traditional two-car garages may be hard to come by.

Many properties in this popular area are sold “off market” before ever reaching Austin’s multiple listing service (MLS). For this reason, be sure to select a Realtor who knows the area well. Realtor knowledge of Clarksville’s MLS and the off market inventory will support finding the best property match and it will greatly facilitate the lending and appraisal processes. This is particularly true when inventory is tight.

Schools: Matthews Elementary, O’Henry Middle School, Stephen F. Austin High School

For more specific market information or to track the home sales statistics in this neighborhood, download our latest Market Report and look under zip code 78703.

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