The aesthetics of gentrification in the Clarksville national register of historic places historic district, Austin, Texas 1871-2003
Ross, Jennifer R.
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In order to provide an understanding of the historic significance of the neighborhood as well as the historic roots ofthe process of gentrification within the neighborhood, the study commences with a detailed historic context. Sources consulted include secondary resources held at the Austin History Center. The study then proceeds with a narrative description ofthe various extant historic domestic plan-types and associated architectural styles within the neighborhood. Following the property type definition is an in depth discussion ofthe process of gentrification within the neighborhood, starting with a general definition of gentrification and a discussion of some ofthe predominant theoretical frameworks that seek to explain the causes of gentrification. Then, using indicators such as property tax assessments, census block data, and employment status ofthe neighborhood's residents, the study seeks to demonstrate that Clarksville has indeed, beginning in the mid-to-late 1970s, shifted from primarily low-income to high-income residential uses. These indicators were used rather than census tract data because the neighborhood is situated within the same tract as some of Austin's most wealthy neighborhoods, a factor that dilutes the demographic information this indicator provides. This discussion also provide an analysis of some of the socio-economic forces that drove the process within the neighborhood. Lastly, the study focuses on the manner in which the new incoming gentrifiers have reshaped the neighborhood's built environment. Specifically, it discusses the common aesthetic architectural themes that have emerged within the neighborhood through the erection of new homes. It also looks at some ofthe most common alterations of historic homes within the neighborhood. It is through this integrated ualitative/quantitative approach that the current study strives to provide an analysis ofthe process of gentrification as manifested in the architecture ofthe Clarksville NRHP Historic District.