The 1922 Norwood Estate was known as "Norcliff" when the property was maintained by Ollie and Calie Norwood. A native of Macune, Texas, Norwood moved with his wife to Austin after serving in France during WWI. He was an early Austin-area investor and municipal bonds broker who is notably remembered for the constructionm of the sixteen-story Norwood Tower and the Motoramp Garage in downtown Austin (1929). In 1922, Norwood purchased five lots along the Colorado River, and by 1926, had amassed over two full blocks inn the new Travis Heights Neigborhood—then on the South-Easternmost edge of the city. Many features of the property were designed by local architect Hugo Kuehne, who later designed the Austin Public Library (1933).
The centerpiece of the Estate was the house, a modest Oriental-Influenced Arts and Crafts bungalow. It grew to include formal gardens, a geothermal spring-fed swimming pool with bathhouses and connecting pergola, tennis courts, and two additional bungalows for in-laws. The formal garden on the east side of the house included brick walls, concrete-edged paths, a split-level greenhouse, a trellised brick teahouse, and a central fountain. A pecan orchard was located on the lower part of the estate.
Born of the idealism of the Arts and Crafts movement, Norcliff was meant as a place for respite
within nature, while highlighting the beauty of man-made structure. Unfortunately, Norwood lost most of his wealth during the Great Depression and additions ceased. In 1953, the state took the easternmost portion for construction of I-35. The couple moved, but retained possession of the estate until it was sold in 1961 upon Ollie Norwood's death. In 1985, the City of Austin purchased the property and repurposed it as a park.
Marker is Property of the State of Texas (2016)