Preservation Austin releases latest audio tour, “Austin’s Postwar Boom”

    Dewey G. Mears.Street View of an Air Conditioned Village. June 2, 1954. Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.

    Preservation Austin has just released the latest of its self-guided audio tours, an introduction to the postwar buildings and architectural icons of the Central Austin neighborhoods Allandale, Brentwood and Crestview.

    On the Otocast app platform, “Austin’s Postwar Boom” features 15 sites such as the former Capitol Roll Skating Rink, Allandale Village shopping center, Crestview shopping center and the Air-Conditioned Village.

    In 1953, Austin was chosen by the National Association of Home Builders to be the location of a model development designed to promote residential air-conditioning. Some 22 new ranch style houses with central air conditioning were built in the Allendale neighborhood. And for a year, the families who lived in them were “studied” to understand the effects of central air-conditioning on health and well-being. At the end of a year, the NAHB concluded that families spent more time at home, slept longer and were happier living in central air-conditioning. (See Austin Public Library’s “Living in an Air-Conditioned Village.”)

    Preservation Austin has other audio tours on Otocast, including “Tejano Trail” and “African American Austin.”

    Download the Otocast app to access the audio tours.

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