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Georgetown

Georgetown is a city and also the county seat of Williamson County, Texas, United States with a population of 28,339 at the 2000 census. Southwestern University, founded in 1840, is the oldest university in Texas and is located in Georgetown, about 1/2 mile east of the historic square. Inner Space Cavern is a cave found on the southside of the city, just off Interstate 35. Sun City Texas is a large retirement-oriented and age restricted development. Sun City Texas constitutes a significant part of the population of Georgetown.

Georgetown has a notable range of Victorian commercial architecture. In 1976 a local historic ordinance was passed to recognize and protect the significance of the historic central business district and in 1977 the Williamson County Courthouse Historic District, containing some 46 contributing structures, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Georgetown is called the “Red Poppy” Capital of Texas for the many red poppy (Papaver rhoeas) wildflowers planted throughout the city which bloom each Spring. Georgetown also holds a Red Poppy Festival in April each year. The festival brings in around 30,000 visitors annually.

Geographically, Georgetown lies across the Balcones Escarpment, a fault line that divides Georgetown into areas roughly east of Interstate 35 in the Blackland Prairie which is flat farmland characterized by having black, fertile soils; and the west side of the Escarpment which consistes of hilly, karst-like terrain with little topsoil and higher elevations, part of the Texas Hill Country.

In the 1970s, Georgetown’s downtown was bleak and featureless. In an effort to modernize and compete with suburban retail development, building owners in the ‘50s and ‘60s obscured one of their most priceless resources – their retail buildings. The Texas-Victorian streetscape was plastered with stucco, aluminum covers, brick, and multiple layers of white paint. But community leaders had already begun taking interest and putting new stock back into their architectural heritage.

Georgetown has three National Register Historic Districts:
Williamson County Courthouse District
Belford National District
The University Avenue/Elm Street District

Georgetown’s resurrected interest in its historic resources came at a time when the cost of borrowing money was soaring. Interest rates near 20 percent might have been a deterrent elsewhere. In Georgetown, every bank offered significantly lower interest loans for the renewal of the town’s grand Victorian buildings and facades. And rehabilitation tax credit programs in the 1980s made investing in historic property an even more lucrative enterprise. By 1984, 40 rehabilitations were complete. A mere two years after its Main Street program was founded, more than half the Main Street district had undergone some kind of positive transition.

In the town’s historic neighborhoods, adaptive restoration has been widely practiced as well, with special emphasis on the private restoration of older homes. The city was recently named one of the best places to purchase a historic house. Today, Georgetown is home to one of the best preserved Victorian and Pre-WW1 downtown historic districts, with The Beaux-Arts Williamson County Courthouse (1911) as its centerpiece. Due to its successful preservation efforts, Georgetown was named a national Main Street City in 1997, the first Texas city so designated.

Georgetown is considered to be one of the best places to retire in the nation because of its fairly warm climate year round, close proximity to both the countryside and Austin, excellent medical care including Alzheimer’s care, and its increasing population of retirees. In 2007, Georgetown was named by Retirement Places Rated (Seventh Edition) as the Best Place in America to Retire. Part of this is because Sun City Texas,a large master-planned community for “active adults 55 and over,” calls Georgetown home. Fifteen years after the project groundbreaking, Sun City is now home to nearly 11,000 residents—nearly 70 percent retired with a median age of 65—and has been a driving force behind growth, development and the very shape of Georgetown since its inception. Numerous other active adult communities are also found in Georgetown, including the well-respected Wesleyan at Estrella, the Oaks at Wildwood, Heritage Oaks and many others. Various projects offer differing levels of care including assisted living. The city, county, and churches also maintain compassionate care facilities for the elderly at the Bluebonnet Community Residence.

Georgetown’s major employers and number of employees as of June 2009:
Williamson County Government (1,700)
Georgetown Independent School District (1,650)
St. David’s Georgetown Hospital (650)
Airborn, Inc. (550)
City of Georgetown (455)
Southwestern University (450)
Caring Home Health (400)
Wesleyan Homes, Inc., (290)
Sun City (Del Webb) (260)

The City of Georgetown is served by the Georgetown Independent School District and Georgetown High School, a National Blue Ribbon Award School, serves the community.

Georgetown is also the home of Southwestern University. Southwestern is a private, four-year, undergraduate, liberal arts college. Founded in 1840, Southwestern is the oldest university in Texas. The school is affiliated with the United Methodist Church although the curriculum is nonsectarian. Southwestern offers 40 bachelor’s degrees in the arts, sciences, fine arts, and music as well as interdisciplinary and pre-professional programs. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the National Association of Schools of Music.

If you like Georgetown you might also be interested in Round RockCedar Park or Leander.

Contact Tiffany’s Properties of Austin, TX for more information about Georgetown Real Estate.

Majority of data from Wikipedia.org