WABAC Machine, Part 4

Our neighborhood history continues . . .

(What’s a WABAC Machine? Find out here.)

1945 • After World War II, more and more young families moved to Brentwood and Crestview, and the landscape began to change from mostly farmland and wide open spaces to neat rows of well-kept homes. (See our film A Community Mosaic for images from that time.)

1947 • Dirt excavator C. H. Lester helped dig a drainage channel in Hancock Creek, along today’s Arroyo Seco, making it possible to develop the swampy southern part of Crestview. He also helped grade many streets in our area, to prepare them for paving. (See Emily and C. H. Lester’s Wall of Welcome tile, right.) • The Violet Crown Heights subdivision in Brentwood began to be developed by Dr. Joseph S. Koenig and Clarence McCullough.

1948 • August 13: Fifteen Austin nightclubs and the local Disabled American Veterans chapter held V-J Eve celebrations. V-J (Victory over Japan) Day marked the end of World War II on August 14, 1945. Area nightclubs listed included Copenhagen Inn, Hill Top Inn, and Sunset Tavern, all on Burnet Road; Avalon Dinner Club, 6200 Dallas Highway (today’s North Lamar); and Varsity Inn, 6208 Dallas Highway. • Development of the second section of Crestview, which included future Crestview Shopping Center property, began. • The Austin city limits expanded to north of Threadgill’s, at 6416 North Lamar.

EARLY 50s • Residents in Brentwood and Crestview still could watch sunset over the “Violet Crown Hills” to the west, where Far West is today, since the area had so few trees. • Streets including Burnet, Woodrow, Justin, and Anderson were unpaved.

1950 • Faith Lutheran Church was established.

1951 • Brentwood Park was acquired by the City of Austin. • Brentwood Elementary School opened. (More here.)First Unitarian-Universalist Church was established.

1952 • The Frisco Shop opened at 5819 Burnet Road, then on the northern edge of town. Frisco is the last of four original Nighthawk restaurants in Austin. In April 1959, founder Harry Akins became the first white restaurateur in Austin to serve blacks in his restaurants. Frisco closed on May 10, 2008, to prepare for its move to a new location at 6801 Burnet Road. Early in the year, fifteen members of the Brentwood Recreation Club met to plan a May festival to help raise funds for playground equipment. On March 15, club members and the City of Austin planted 48 trees at Brentwood Park. Crestview Shopping Center (left) was built by A. B. Beddow and Ray Yates; the first businesses opened in 1953. • Northwest Baptist and St. Louis Catholic Church were established.

1953 • Crestview Baptist Church, Crestview United Methodist Church, and Episcopal Church of the Resurrection were established. • Jay Hodgson and his family moved to Crestview. He had a popular local television show for children, “The Uncle Jay Show,” until 1977.

1954 • First Cumberland Presbyterian Church was established at its Brentwood location.

1958 • Crestview resident Bill Williamson created the Texas Capitol rotunda star.

WABAC Machine, Part 5,” coming up next on Voices of the Violet Crown!

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