One of the primary focal points of the St. Edward’s neighborhood would undoubtedly be the presence of St. Edward’s University. The University itself has a long and storied history, one which only further enriches the historical significance of South Austin. The community that has been built up around the University clearly reflects the culture and youthfulness of a lively academic setting.
The surrounding neighborhood of St. Edward’s is popular for the students of the school, but that does not mean that it is exclusively reserved for this demographic. In fact, the area surrounding the University is full of families, young professionals and even a fair share of rising artists.
A Community Built Around Education:
The community surrounding St. Edward’s University grew in conjunction with the school itself, but the area has nearly 150 years of history attached to it. On land which was originally used for farming and agriculture, Reverend Edward Sorin established a private Catholic school in 1877. This institution was initially named St. Edward’s Academy, an effort to honor St. Edward the Confessor (who also happened to be Sorin’s Patron Saint).
By 1885 the Academy was officially granted a charter to rename and rebrand itself as St. Edward’s College. As the school continued to evolve over time, so too did the neighborhood around it. Around the year 1900 the school enrolled nearly 200 students. Flash forward to today and the school has 4,300 students. As the school became more populated, so too did the community surrounding it. As the institution grew, it required more faculty and employees and local businesses grew alongside the school.
There are plenty of open, green spaces within the community, matching quite well with the aesthetics of the school itself. All things considered, the unique feel of the community is also widely influenced by the lifestyle of the area itself.
An Ideal Austin “College Town”:
Don’t let the label of “College Town” fool you. This is not just a place for students and faculty. While the University certainly adds a sense of youth and energy to the community, it’s hardly required that you be associated with the school in order to live near it. In fact, most residents seem to find the presence of so much excitement and energy to be a welcome addition to their routines.
The neighborhood is a great blend of a quaint, small town feel and an active urban/suburban setting. For young families who enjoy the activity of the Austin area but are more attracted to a small and intimate community, St. Edward’s is a perfect solution.
There are other advantages to living in this section of Austin’s 78704 area, especially when you consider how close you are to local amenities and attractions.
A Local Taste:
There are several restaurants that are local favorites nearby, some just a stone’s throw from the University.
Torchy’s Tacos is one such popular local attraction, serving up great food using the finest quality ingredients. Today, Torchy’s has around 60 locations but each one is unique in terms of decor and feel. Most importantly, Torchy’s is a product of the City of Austin and even has three Austin locations, with one being just minutes away from St. Edward’s University.
Another special local favorite is Summer Moon Coffee on South First St., less than half a mile from the University. If coffee is your thing, this is a very special place. Their addicting blend is made from only the freshest, 100% organic coffee beans which are then slow roasted in hand-crafted brick ovens. Only using the finest Texas oak as their fire source, they produce a cup of coffee that is unmatched both near and far. Top it all off with their homemade ‘Moonmilk’ sweet cream recipe and it becomes even more obvious why Summer Moon Coffee remains so popular.
What Might the Future Hold for St. Edward’s Neighborhood?
As the school continues to grow, so too will the area surrounding it. For those who like a bit of activity and youthful energy (a vibe that Austin tends to give off naturally anyway) St. Ed’s might be a great fit. With a local charm that is unique in urban settings, St. Edward’s seems to be able to take Austin’s lively personality and integrate it with a small town sense of community.