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Old 07-13-2016, 10:49 PM
 
1,095 posts, read 775,409 times
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IMHO I think N Lamar around Crestview is a decent area, but once you get near 183 it starts to turn for the worse (cue ominous and foreboding music).
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:58 PM
 
1,095 posts, read 775,409 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Novacek View Post
Oh, the freight train still runs through there. Just later at night now.

I'm a block or so from the line, and it's not bad, but it's definitely something to be aware of if any buys there (especially those that directly back up to the rail).
Lol, Marketing material from the realtor: "Each night you will be gently put to sleep by the lights and sounds of the passing freight trains"

(First night in house, train approaches) (Walls start to shake and things start falling off the shelves) HOOONK HOOOONK! HOOONK HOONK! (WHOOSH WHOOSH WHOOSH) (Babies start crying and dogs start barking throughout neighborhood)

"Gently put to sleep my a**!"
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Old 07-14-2016, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
8,728 posts, read 8,782,447 times
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Drove up Burnet road yesterday evening after dining at Gusto's. It certainly is fugly all the way to 183 - and has been for 50 years.
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Old 07-14-2016, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
11,403 posts, read 10,046,395 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homeinatx View Post
I love how this thread has also become a north vs. south Austin thread, a homeless people in Austin thread, an economic segregation thread. You pushed nearly every button.

I would 100% agree that Austin is for the most part an architecturally ugly city. I wish Austin had the architectural bones of New Orleans. I wish Austin had the architectural bones of Cleveland.

While I think it is great that you love where you live, I 100% disagree that Steiner Ranch is gorgeous. While aesthetics are somewhat subjective, they are also conventional in the strict sense of that word. SR is very far from the prettiest single family home neighborhood in Austin either topographically or architecturally. The waterfront neighborhoods on both sides of Lake Austin and the waterfront neighborhoods on Town Lake north of Enfield on the east side of the river and west of Mopac on the west are prettier by almost any measure - they are as hilly as SR, have much better tree cover, much better water views, much greater architectural variety and craft values, much bigger lots. They are also much much more expensive for very obvious reasons. There is not a street in Steiner Ranch that can hold a candle to Mount Bonnell Drive from 35th street to 2222 or Scenic from Enfield to 35th, or parts of Redbud trail across the lake. Even the less desirable parts of Westlake, Cuernavaca and Lost Creek are objectively prettier than Steiner Ranch, and then there are Austin old money neighborhoods like Pemberton which have city views instead of water ones. Drive Windsor Road, the early twentieth century mansions on the crest of that hill make every house in SR look distinctly cheap and nasty. Even on the unfairly maligned East Side, there are prettier neighborhoods. Wilshire Woods - a pocket neighborhood with historic designation between 38 and a half and Airport is full of mid century architect designed real limestone bungalows with towering 200 year old post oaks, some of the houses on over half an acre lots. Swede Hill is tiny but there are magnificent Victorian mansions. Hyde park is spotty and flat, but in terms of trees and architecture blows SR out of the water. Travis Heights south of the river. Judges Hill . . .I could go on, but there are easily a dozen neighborhoods in central Austin that even by your own suspect criteria are much prettier than Steiner, and the prices reflect that. Your desire to obliterate everything from UT to 183 between Mopac and 35 is beyond lunatic. You would rob Austin of the little historically distinguished architecture it has, a huge chunk of its mature tree overage. Sure the commercial thoroughfares are not pretty, but they are home to quite a bit of interesting stuff, and some of the neighborhoods between them are, unlike SR, actually gorgeous.

There are also many comparable neighborhoods to SR: While the hills in Steiner are nice, the houses are almost identical to the housing stock in large swathes of Circle C, and the nicer parts of Pflugerville and Round Rock. Makes sense as they were built on the same plans at the same time by the same builders. Parts of Lakeway, Bee Cave, Falconhead west, Jester Estates also have hills and close to identical housing stock?? Looks very comparable ??

I am fine with a little homerism, but blind homerism is another thing entirely.
There are $5+ million mansions along Lake Austin in Steiner Ranch but you probably haven't seen them. They are behind a gated community. It's at the end of Flat Top Ranch Road and I used to run along there before they had fully developed it.

Here's a listing on zillow for $6m:

14300 Flat Top Ranch Road, Austin, TX For Sale | Trulia.com

That is nicer than homes in (pick your neighborhood).
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Old 07-14-2016, 06:00 PM
 
898 posts, read 951,107 times
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Overall I'm in between- I don't find west Austin such as the areas near mount bonnell to be all that great. Seems like you'd have to travel to do much- including shopping and getting groceries. He houses that are more southern are awesome but I'm not a big Spanish style person- which tends to be the style that dominates there. I don't mind Steiner but I couldn't live there because of the traffic- and some of the same shopping/eating or lack there of issues. I think places like lakeway are way over the top sterile though and parts of bee caves. All the buildings look the same.. I don't really care about houses looking similar or not the reality is both have pros and cons. I wish there were more southern style homes in central Texas though (wrap around front porches, pillars, balconies etc).
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Old 07-14-2016, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
11,403 posts, read 10,046,395 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antny12 View Post
Overall I'm in between- I don't find west Austin such as the areas near mount bonnell to be all that great. Seems like you'd have to travel to do much- including shopping and getting groceries. He houses that are more southern are awesome but I'm not a big Spanish style person- which tends to be the style that dominates there. I don't mind Steiner but I couldn't live there because of the traffic- and some of the same shopping/eating or lack there of issues. I think places like lakeway are way over the top sterile though and parts of bee caves. All the buildings look the same.. I don't really care about houses looking similar or not the reality is both have pros and cons. I wish there were more southern style homes in central Texas though (wrap around front porches, pillars, balconies etc).
I grew up in Louisiana and am tired of the southern style look as it's ubiquitous there. Nothing worse than a faux-southern creole style raised cottage.

I don't have any issue with the suburban stock in any part of Austin, except for perhaps East Austin where the unimproved houses are shacks. Even driving around N. Lamar area, the residential sections are leafy and nice.

My main beef is with the strip mall architecture of circa 1960-1980 era strip malls. By 1990 the architecture had improved dramatically and before 1960 the architecture was very nice. This is an area where strict codification could bring about drastic improvements.
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Old 07-15-2016, 01:34 AM
 
1,546 posts, read 1,469,298 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cBach View Post
There are $5+ million mansions along Lake Austin in Steiner Ranch but you probably haven't seen them. They are behind a gated community. It's at the end of Flat Top Ranch Road and I used to run along there before they had fully developed it.

Here's a listing on zillow for $6m:

14300 Flat Top Ranch Road, Austin, TX For Sale | Trulia.com

That is nicer than homes in (pick your neighborhood).
Actually, many of us find bloated faux Tuscan McMansions like that grotesque. You've clearly not seen the gorgeous historic mansions built with quality American made materials that were built to last in Old West Austin, Victorian masterpieces in Hyde Park and Travis Heights, gleaming mid-century moderns perched on the hills of Highland Park or the homes in the exclusive enclaves along Stratford Drive.
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Old 07-15-2016, 07:41 AM
 
1,355 posts, read 1,805,044 times
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Quote:
the strip mall architecture of circa 1960-1980 era strip malls
I imagine the strip mall architecture of 2015-16 will look equally dated/ugly in 25 years. Ditto the huge repetitive apartment complexes going up everywhere (if they even hold up that long).
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Old 07-15-2016, 07:51 AM
 
2,068 posts, read 1,400,408 times
Reputation: 3565
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarnivalGal View Post
The "ugly" thing that I (and visitors I have hosted) notice a lot is the wires. Wires everywhere. Wires here are rarely buried. Add to that the fact that we don't have tall, towering trees here to hide them, and they seem to be everywhere. Some of that (like the trees), is out of our control. But then why just string more wires across intersections and hang traffic lights from them? It looks horrible. The city seems to be better about putting lights on poles, but there are still a ton that just swing on those ugly wires.
When I lived there, I heard a lot of the same thing from visitors. We had a lot of out-of-town visitors, and it was interesting how many people though Austin was just plain ugly. Most were from the East Coast which from a scenery standpoint, blows it away, but it is something I heard a lot.


Every big city has the "cookie cutter neighborhoods" too. But there is something about the ones in Austin and suburbs (and Dallas and Houston for that matter) that are really ugly. I think its simply that they are bigger, and more jammed to the point where you need those ugly privacy fences. A cookie cutter neighborhood where the lot is three times as big looks nicer.
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Old 07-15-2016, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Avery Ranch, Austin, TX
8,319 posts, read 13,981,776 times
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As discussed in other threads, just cutting the weeds and clearing the medians/curbs would go a long way in improving the appearance of many of the roads. Part of 5th Street near MoPac was finally mowed; but they left weeds encroaching into the driving lanes 2 to 3 feet!

We are still much much greener than we were for the first five years we lived here...add completely toasted brown weeds to the scenery and it looked even more dismal from '08 to '11!
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