Austin stretches from Garfield Park on the east to Oak Park on the west. It is the one of largest communities in Chicago, both in geography and population. Residents enjoy the area’s tight-knit active community and plentiful parks. Columbus Park, a 135-acre park designed by landscape architect Jens Jensen, was in fact named a National Historic Landmark in 2003
The community includes four distinctively different neighborhoods: Galewood, The Island, North Austin and South Austin.
Galewood Station, a once-abandoned rail yard, was turned into a $60 million development that helped attract homes and a movie theater to the area. Two stations on the Milwaukee District West Line are located here. Playboy Founder Hugh Hefner was raised here; and the neighborhood is home to former Governor Pat Quinn.
The Island neighborhood is indeed an island isolated by an industrial corridor to its east and railroad tracks and Interstate 290 to the north.
South Austin is home to numerous historic buildings including six landmarks on the National Register of Historic Places; and seven buildings that have Chicago landmark status. Homes include vintage brick walk-ups, courtyard buildings and bungalows along with more modern designs. Homebuyers are attracted to the neighborhood’s wide boulevards, inexpensive housing and parks and recreation.
North Austin includes plenty of landscaped parks and recreation, rows of brick bungalows and wood-frame homes. The neighborhood has been home to several comedians and actors, including Hannibal Burress, stand-up comedian, actor and television writer. Steve Harris, actor in Diary of a Mad Black Woman and The Practice and Wood Harris, actor in The Wire, Remember the Titans and Creed both attended elementary school in Austin.
Austin is served by several high schools including Austin Polytechnical Academy, Clark Academy Prep Magnet High School, Marshall Metropolitan, Steinmetz Academic Centre, Foreman, Orr Academy and Douglass Academy among others.