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Welcome to our website! We're on a mission to save Austin's historic Norwood House, a 1922 Arts & Crafts treasure on the shores of Lady Bird Lake in Austin, TX. This special bungalow has been under threat for years, but it has recently been stabilized. It's now READY to be restored and repurposed to serve the people in a taxpayer-friendly way. You're in the right place to find out all about the house and how you can help.

Thanks for visiting, and please be in touch!

Our Mission

The Mission of the Norwood Park Foundation is to restore the Norwood House to its historic exterior appearance, rehabilitate the surrounding historic grounds and gardens, and repurpose the property to serve the people of Austin as a premier, nonprofit and self-sustaining rental venue and community meeting space.

Our Purpose

Located on City parkland, Austin's historic Norwood House is a public park asset, with a stunning view that could command substantial rental revenue for the taxpayers if the house was operating. But with lack of vision in past decades, and municipal budgets strained, the investment required to position Norwood to earn its own keep has not been put forth.

The nonprofit Norwood Park Foundation was formed because there is no money in the budget of the city's Parks & Recreation Department - now or in the foreseeable future - to restore and maintain this remarkable but long-neglected property. Since the will to save Norwood has been strongly established, and since the needs of the deteriorated house have been urgent, we have joined with the City of Austin in a public/private partnership to:

  1. restore the house and grounds,
  2. operate the property in a revenue-generating, self-sustaining fashion, and
  3. ensure its future protection.

In this way, we will save the Norwood House and its beautiful site while modeling a citizen-initiated, volunteer-based civic project that promotes an even greater mission to preserve our town's original, special places. The end result: a natural and cultural treasure..returned to the people of Austin, at minimal cost to the taxpayer.

Contact

Norwood Park Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 5682
Austin TX 78763-5682

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Vintage Photos
The exterior of the house had classic Arts & Crafts battered columns of brick & river rock combined w/ unique Oriental-inspired trim and detailing.
Formal gardens w/ fountain on the east side of the house, looking south toward Riverside Drive. Front of greenhouse can be seen on the left.

From rear of house, looking east. In this prominent spot a gazebo known as the teahouse enjoyed the prevailing breezes and a commanding view of the Colorado River.

Wow! From front porch, looking northeast. Stunning rose gardens in foreground with fountain, gazebo & greenhouse beyond.
The swimming pool was the 1st geothermal spring-fed pool in Austin. Many Austinites learned to swim here. Liability concerns resulted in the pool being filled in with dirt some years ago.

This is shortly after construction in the 1920s. The fully-plumbed bathhouses with connecting arbor reflected the high style of the bungalow itself.
Beauty shot of the Norwood House with a field of flowers in the foreground. The charm & dignity of this historic bungalow can't be denied.

Snowy Norwood at only 1 year old! Taken in Feb. 1923.
During construction. Column toppers reflect a distinct Oriental influence seen in California Arts & Crafts bungalows of the 1920s.
Norcliff decorated for the holidays. Shows the beauty & detail of the front gable trim and rafters.

From western edge of the estate, looking across tennis court at the west side of house.

Another snowy day for Norwood. Taken 1949, almost 30 yrs. after construction. Just like now, folks in former times often took snapshots of their homes when it snowed. That's why many of the pics we have of Norwood are snowy ones.
This wintry shot clearly shows the pergola & the west gable of the bungalow.
Rear of Norcliff taken from east side, looking west. Shows positioning of garage/apt. bldg., which no longer exists.

East side of house highlighting the unusual design of the wood screens. Note pagoda-style upturned gable peak.

Taken from front of estate, looking NW. House is up the hill on the (R), out of view. Note battered brick & river-rock pier, marking driveway.
East-side yard showing cross view of front porch. Historic rose gardens no longer evident by this time.
Bougainvillaea surrounds the entry to the garage apt., just west of the house.

Former geothermal spring-fed pool just down the hill to east of house. The same spring still feeds Big Stacy pool in Travis Heights.
Rear of split-level greenhouse, seen from the pool area. Built into the hill, door is to gardener's workroom underneath.

Edge of tile roof & river-rock outline of chimney can be seen. At bottom of photo are tops of basement windows. Basement no longer exists.
This remarkable photo shows just how large the gazebo was. It took full advantage of unobstructed views of the river below & was in constant use by the family.

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