Austin Profile

Austin City Profile

 

Austin, Texas, formerly established as the village of Waterloo, is the current capital of the state of Texas. Before settlers arrived in the United States, Austin was the home of many Native American, such as the Tonkawa tribe, the Comanches, and the Lipan Apaches. The name “Austin” was derived from Stephen Fuller Austin, who led the second and ultimately successful colonization of the Texas region by the United States.

    The capitol building that’s located in Austin was completed in 1888 as the 7th largest building in the world. The Texas Capitol Building is also taller than the US Capitol Building.

Another gem of this city is Butler Park, a 21 acre decorated grass field with hills, pavilions, a dedicated performance center, and many statues of famous artists that was commissioned by the Butler family. Their name pops up a lot on plaques, memorials, and signs for donors to a cause (not unlike the Stranahans of Toledo). Austin’s river is lined with a beautiful park, and it’s all thanks to the Butler family. Located across the Colorado River from downtown Austin, it was donated by the Butler family to the city of Austin in 1941 for recreational use. The first member of the family to have an influence on Austin was Michael Butler, an Irish immigrant. He founded the Butler Brick Company in 1873, allowing Austin to thrive and build important monuments such as the Texas Capitol Building. The Butler family has been very influential and active participants in the city of Austin.    

Austin entered the high tempers of the Civil War with an attitude towards keeping the union preserved, but quickly changed their tune as the actual conflict gained momentum, as the daily life of the people became centered around the conflict, taking the side of and providing able bodied soldiers to the confederacy. In the years following, Austin still struggled with race issues, causing concentrated pockets of African American culture that culminated in things like Rhapsody, monuments honoring the culture that cropped up on the late 1800’s as a result of segregation laws.  Later, austin would go on to have the first non-segregated university, and lead the way in  

    This city has displayed their citizens ability to mobilize for change many times, first in the protests against harsh segregation laws, as well as the revitalization of city planning in the late seventies. Over the last half century, groups have popped up in the interest of the city, reforming traffic laws, construction laws, and providing new, innovative architecture. Butler Park dominates a section of the Colorado river’s coast, and graffiti parks have cropped up places where people are openly allowed and willing to provide their own contributions to the artistic blend of the cities visage.  

    Further in the spirit of reform, Austin lead the South in major anti-segregation movements, with a university that was the first in the south to admit African-Americans as undergraduates. They also attacked the segregation laws as a whole, doing away with segregated restaurants, public transport, and local areas that had been segregated in the decades beforehand. It seems as though if theres something wrong in Austin, it’s only a short matter of time before someone rises up to change it.  

    The other impressive quality of Austinites is their music. Music shops litter the area, and street performers fill the streets in the old jazz themed neighborhoods in the years of segregation. The culture of this city is diverse, being known for Austin city limits, a TV show representing the diverse population of music, film, and media in the area. Many small time development companies have found their place in studies, such as RoosterTeeth industries and Rocksauce Studios.  

    Austin City Limits is a show that has brought many artists from the background to the forefront of the music industry. Artists such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Black Keys, and Steve Martin have found their way onto this famous stage. People from all around the country have watched this show, and it’s all thanks to the diverse musical population of Austin, and the passion people clearly feel for the art. Austin’s culture is diverse to the point that they have dubbed Austin the music capitol of the world. Live music permeates the air, as the city has hundreds of live music venues, comedy clubs, and performance pavilion that are all filled with performers and observers alike on a nightly basis.  

Of course, we wouldn’t profile a city without mentioning the Colorado River that splits it in half. This body of water is the home of a very famous bridge, the Congress Avenue Bridge, under which many bats tend to live. In fact, it’s a nationally famous even to come to Austin during the later hours of a summer afternoon to see the “bats under the bridge”. At a certain time of day, the massive swarm erupts from underneath one of the bridges over the Colorado River into a cloud of dark spots. People view it as a summertime staple of the town.  

    From the outside, anyone who’s never been to Austin would think of Texas and assume barbeque, big hats, and cowboys.  Austin is a place of art and culture, where new artists come to start and old artists come to relax. It’s a cultural gem full of record stores, graffiti parks, jazz monuments, live music, great southern cooking, and more live entertainment than you can shake a proverbial stick at.  

Works Cited


http://www.bycitylight.com/cities/us-tx-austin-history.php

http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hda03

http://www.austintexas.org/visit/discover/nightlife/

http://www.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=115

http://acltv.com/artists/