Post World War II to the Present

In the wake of the expansion of the Texas Capital Complex to the north in the 1950s, a number of homes were purchased and moved to Keasbey Boulevard, south of 45th Street, to the west of Red River. Also moved from the capital neighborhood was the parsonage of the Swedish Central Methodist Church, no located at 700 Carolyn in the Harper Addition.

No single development better signifies the change in the locality than the coming of Hancock Shopping Center. It was Austin's first shopping mall, built in 1963, on the site of the back-nine holes of Hancock Golf Course. A feature in the Austin American-Statesman, "Life and Arts" section, March 9, 1997, author Han Stuever caught the 35-year significance of the facility in this way: "What was right about Hancock Center was wrong for the mall boom. Hancock was one-third the size of present-day suburban malls and it did not have a roof. Highland Mall came in 1970 and the flock followed. It was the right neighborhood at the wrong time." With the coming of the newest and one of the largest H.E.B. Grocery Stores in 1997, the center had clearly been re-established as a focal point for the community.

It was the proposed sale by the city of the original nine holes of the golf course that led to the creation of the Hancock Neighborhood Association in the summer of 1980. As H.N.A. Historian Elise Plumb Kidd wrote in the Hancock Neighborhood Association Newsletter in September 1996, "Residents and golfers city-wide arose in support of continuing the course, not only for the sport itself, but also to ensure that this inner city treasure would continue as a beautiful greenbelt. H.N.A. flourished for many years with frequent meetings and excellent programs. After years of inactivity, it was revived in 1995 and efforts to rebuild it are ongoing." The first president of H.N.A. was Charles Harker, followed by Jim Beauchamps, Don Weston, Bill Bevier, Russell Hur, and Bill King. Richard Thompson, the current President was elected in 1995. The H.N.A. continues to provide a forum for the sharing of information and of community concerns. In 1998 it also sponsored the first Pet Parade.

In addition to the H.N.A., there is a Hancock Recreation Center Advisory Board, which serves an auxiliary function, including sponsorship of the Hancock Holiday Candle Trail - now a seventeen year tradition.

The Hancock Recreation Center serves more than 15,000 people each year. Its programs include adult enrichment classes and support groups, dancing and fitness. Among the youth camps and classes is the Tiny Tots day care, which began in 1963. An After School Fun Club meets the needs of K-6th grade children from Robert E. Lee and Maplewood schools. Supervisor Kate Tanguis reports that the Center is the site of one or two weddings, receptions, or parties each weekend throughout the year.

It is the increase in traffic, to be generated by the future development of the Mueller Airport site to the east and by the proposed Cencor Triangle development to the west which continues to define issues addressed by The Association. The continuing challenge for those who live and work in the area is to preserve it as an urbane oasis for present and future generations.