Castle Heights has an unusually strong identity as a neighborhood. The construction of the earliest homes, circa 1888, lied outside Waco city limits, and when developers plotted the neighborhood in 1923, they expected it to serve as an elite residential area marketed to the professional and upper class. Castle Heights was an example of the early twentieth-century City Beautiful Movement, an urban planning philosophy that sought to link social issues to architectural design and encourage civic pride and engagement. The eclectic architectural styles of Castle Heights provide good examples of design from several different time periods, including Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, Spanish Eclectic Revival, and Minimal Traditional homes. Following World War II, the neighborhood saw a large boom in construction of homes in the ranch style. Through over a decade of effort by neighborhood leaders, Castle Heights became Waco’s first historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009. The district included on the historical marker encompasses most of the area north of Austin Avenue from Thirty-Third Street to Thirty-Ninth Street, including Cottonland Castle, the 1890s Gothic stone structure on Austin Avenue that gave the neighborhood its name. Castle Heights remains one of the most sought-out neighborhoods in the city. Its well-preserved homes serve as physical evidence of twentieth-century architectural and urban design in Waco.
See some of Castle Heights and learn about some of its residents on this tour!