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Gary Bradley's old castle is vacant

So apparently Gary Bradley's old castle is vacant. It sits above lamar over by book people. Gary Bradley built Velaway, Rob Roy, West Rim, Circle C, Riverbend Church and many other well known neighborhoods.

While some (mostly misinformed) activists were angry at Bradley the reasons don't make much sense. For the most part they were angry that he built housing that allowed more people to live in Austin (if you live in Austin today part of the reason there is room for you is because of people like Bradley). They attack the fact that he lost tax payers money. Another way to think of this is that Gary Bradly was rich and instead of retiring he continued to invest in Austin. He continued to build much needed housing. Unfortunately he went bankrupt because of market forces. He obviously didn't intend to do this. Attacking him for this seems unreasonable. And, again, the truth is many people simply didn't like that he built housing that allowed more people to call Austin home. And for people like me that were not born in Austin we all own him a debt of gratitude. The people in his neighborhoods were quite happy with the quality and care he put into creating some of Austin's best know communities.

His castle is pretty cool. I don't know why people are obsessed with castles. There are lots of large houses and lots of houses made of stone. But there is something about castles.

It was built around 1870 and was originally used by the Texas Military Institute until 1880. Then it was used by Bickler's Academy until about 1887. After that it was mostly used as private residence for various individuals.

Anyway its sitting up there vacant. I heard it had graphitti in it. Its said to have some of the best views in Austin. I assume it is owned by the city. It would be nice if they retained ownership of it instead of auctioning it and
left it open to the public.

I dont know what has happened to Gary Bradly. Until recently I assumed he still lived there. I was somewhat surprised to find that the castle was vacant.



Comments

The city does not own the Castle. It is private property. My family (the Bradley family) does not live there. It has been severely vandalized - it is a shame.

By the way, Gary did not lose tax payer money - he like thousands of other Texans, was wiped out in the Savings and Loan Crash of the 80's.

Sabrina Bradley

Would someone be able to tour it? It is a shame that it is not used. I recently came across an old Austin magazine that featured it.

Sabrina Bradley -

Sweetie, I've got news for you darlin' - Gary (your dad? Your husband?-his 5th wife?- which, if Gary's M.O. is still still status quo - must make you like, 19 or so?) Bradley not only went bankrupt along with John Connley, Ben Barnes, Clyde Copus, Nash Phillips and the Milburn Brothers back in the late 80s real estate bust - but he did it AGAIN in 2002 - by bilking the taxpayers of Travis County out of millions for Circle C and ruining the Edwards Aquifer in the same move. He's a fraud, a crook and a scammer - just a redneck country boy from West Texas who came to the booming burbs of Austin in the late 1970s and robbed the people and raped the land. Go see "The Unforeseen" (2007) at SXSW Film Festival 2007 if you need clarification.

sabrina,

i'm trying to do some research on the castle. would it be possible to email you with some questions? if so, please email me at maybepuck at yahoo.com

thanks very much!
-nicole

I dont know if sabrina reads this blog on a regular basis. I dont think they even own the castle anymore. I saw it changed ownership in early 2007 according to the tax records.

Is the castle available to rent? This is aug 2007 now and I am looking to do an event there. Any info would be helpful about any rentable castles or haunted type houses in the area.
Thanks

Everyone is saying bad things about Gary Bradley but he is a good person and try's to help in the devolopment in the city like Circle C, Rob Roy Etc.

i just saw "the unforeseen" yesterday in los angeles at the AFI film festival. it is worth seeing, not preachy but really makes you understand how developers have such different interests(money)than you and i do. what happened to austin has happened everywhere and i think the best message from the film is that we cannot go back and change the damage done but it is clearly time to take a mature look going forward in the future at each of our responsibility and stewardship for the land and nature, we must find a balance.

The Unforseen is a great movie. As an Environmental Engineer I was appalled the the copius amount of greed and ignorance by the government of Texas, the people of Texas ("Birds Don't Pay Taxes") and ultimately the developers who continue to rape, pillage and win what they want. If it began in Barton it has spread across America and will be the death and fall of the American empire. Calling our economic growth a cancer is an insult to cancer. What we do is so much worse than what cancer does, because we do it with a conscious and a reason. Back in the days people like Gary Barton would've been lynched, tarred, feathered and impaled to a slow death by the people the minute his crime against nature and mankind was apparent. Sadly today we need to have decades of court proceedings and under the table deals before anything is done about it. Liek I said, this cancer, if you call it that, began in Barton and will end when America is consumed by fire and flood. And in the end the birds who didn't pay taxes will be the only creatures left to be laughing at the cheap remains of mankind.

Vilifying Gary Bradley, as some of the people above have done, is rather simpleminded. We may disagree with the development ambitions he had for the Austin area, but he is hardly responsible for the economic patterns that hasten growth and sprawl. The Whole Foods elitism that drives up real estate prices within Austin proper and compels people to look for more affordable housing elsewhere is equally to blame. If that's not obvious, you haven't thought hard enough about the matter -- you've only taken recourse in easy fingerpointing and unctuous moral superiority.

There are lots of problems with The Unforessen. Way too much "poetic drift," as the NY Times put it (I think those were the words). Not enough journalistic clarity. I still don't quite understand exactly what led to Bradley's bankruptcy, for example. That is only vaguely articulated. But the filmmaker deserves credit for humanizing (and contextualizing) someone we've thoughtlessly demonized.

Vilifying Gary Bradley, as some of the people above have done, is rather simpleminded. We may disagree with the development ambitions he had for the Austin area, but he is hardly responsible for the economic patterns that hasten growth and sprawl. The Whole Foods elitism that drives up real estate prices within Austin proper and compels people to look for more affordable housing elsewhere is equally to blame. If that's not obvious, you haven't thought hard enough about the matter -- you've only taken recourse in easy fingerpointing and unctuous moral superiority.

There are lots of problems with The Unforessen. Way too much "poetic drift," as the NY Times put it (I think those were the words). Not enough journalistic clarity. I still don't quite understand exactly what led to Bradley's bankruptcy, for example. That is only vaguely articulated. But the filmmaker deserves credit for humanizing (and contextualizing) someone we've thoughtlessly demonized.

Could anyone tell me what is going on with the castle now? I saw some people doing work in it today. Thanks!