Scott Fabino was born and raised in Austin, in a 1970s middle class Italian community around North and Central. His parents led the Greater Austin Boys Club in the 1980s. Going through school at Ella Flagg Young and St. Patricks, Fabino found he enjoyed building, fixing and painting houses and could make a good living doing it.  

He’s worked on bungalows, Frank Lloyd Wright houses in Oak Park and Austin, and grand Victorian houses like the St. Martin’s Episcopal Church rectory on Midway, which his company, Get’er Done, is repainting now.

I can pretty much build a house from the ground up. I like going to work every day, bringing back houses to beautiful.  I like seeing stuff I’ve done, buildings that are over 100 years old and may live on after I’m gone.  

I think Austin’s coming back. It took a downfall with white flight in the late 1970s. People bought houses they couldn’t really afford, and they started falling down. Then the economy fell out in the mid-2000s. But now you see people taking pride, keeping up their houses, having confidence in the neighborhood. Also it’s better when police take time to understand the neighborhood and don’t rule with an iron hand. 

I don’t think we’ll get run over by gentrification, because we have a lot of good houses and not a bunch of vacant lots that a developer could swoop up and build condos on all at once.  Austin has a nice mix with all different groups of people, a real melting pot of Latinos, Whites and Blacks.  A good place to be.

Bonnie McKeown

Bonni McKeown

"Barrelhouse Bonni" McKeown, the author of "West Side Blues Blog," has played piano and written about blues music for over 15 years.  She has led classes for young and old on...

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