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Photos related to aeronautics in Austin, Texas from the Austin Files collection

Photos and videos documenting African Americans in Austin and Travis County from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting agriculture in the Austin metro area.

Photographs documenting dairying from the Austin Files collection.

Media documenting carnivals, circuses, and other amusements in Austin, Texas from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting animals in Austin and surrounding areas

Photos documenting the Austin Aqua Festival (known as Aqua Fest) was a ten-day festival held the first week of August on the shores of Town Lake (now Lady Bird Lake) in Austin, Texas from 1962 until 1998 from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting archaeology in Austin, Texas from the Austin Files collection

Austin Heritage Society Series: Hirshfeld House (1982) Find out some interesting facts about Austin in 1873, and information about the construction of the Hirshfeld House and cottage located at 9th and Lavaca. Produced by the Austin Heritage Society.

Media documenting Asian Americans living in the Austin metro area.

Photographs documenting Austin Area Garden Center from the Austin Files collection. The Austin Area Garden Center is located at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., in Zilker Metropolitan Park

Illustrations of Austin and surrounding areas

Photographs documenting automobile service stations from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting automobiles in Austin, Texas from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting automobile races and drivers from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting Austin bakeries from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting barbershops and barbers in Austin, Texas

Media documenting baseball and baseball players from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting the beer industry in Austin from the Austin Files collection

Photos that document Bergstrom Air Force Base from the Austin Files collection. Bergstrom Air Force Base (1942–1993) was a United States Air Force base located seven miles (11 km) southeast of downtown Austin, Texas. It was activated during World War II as a troop carrier training airfield, and was a front-line Strategic Air Command (SAC) base during the Cold War. In its later years, it was transferred to the Tactical Air Command (TAC) and became a major base for the U.S. Air Force's RF-4C reconnaissance fighter fleet. At the time of its closure, it was assigned to the Air Combat Command (ACC).

Media documenting boats and boating in Austin, Texas

Photographs documenting booksellers and books from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting boots and shoes from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting the Boy Scouts of American in Austin from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting bridges in the Austin metro area

Photographs documenting suppliers of building materials from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting Austin businesses from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting Camp Mabrya military installation in Austin, Texas that houses the headquarters of the Texas Military Department, Texas Military Forces and Texas Military Forces Museum

Photographs documenting Camp Swift from the Austin Files collection. Camp Swift began as a United States Army training base built in 1942. It is named after Major General Eben Swift. 2700 buildings were built during World War II, but none of those remain on the site today. At the end of the war, they were sold or donated and relocated. The gymnasium was relocated to Whitney Texas. It is still in use today by the school district. During World War II, German prisoners of war began arriving and at peak numbered 10,000. At the same time, the camp held 90,000 GIs, making it one of the largest army training and transshipment camps in Texas. The 10th Mountain Division trained at Camp Swift in 1944. The 2nd Infantry Division trained there mid 1945 to early 1946. The camp also trained nurses under battlefield conditions. The camp trained some 300,000 soldiers before the war ended. Camp Swift is currently owned by the Texas Army National Guard and acts as a training center for the National and State Guard, active armed forces, law enforcement, high school ROTC and the Civil Air Patrol. The camp is also the primary emergency staging area for Central Texas.

Media documenting the Texas State Capitol

Media depicting art at the Texas State Capitol building and grounds

Media documenting the Texas State Capitol grounds from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting caves in the Austin area from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting the Cedar Choppers in the Austin area from the Austin Files collection. The term cedar chopper applied to harvesters and their families, who moved from camp to camp for their work. Cedar chopping was a significant factor in the development of central Texas and its economy well into the twentieth century. It supported charcoal kilns, timber yards and camps.

Media documenting celebrations in Austin from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting cemeteries in the Austin and Travis County region from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting Chamber of Commerce organizations from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting the Chautauqua Grounds located in Georgetown, Texas from the Austin Files collection. The grounds were the home of the Texas Chautauqua Assembly. In 1888, local citizens of Georgetown sought and won the right to become the home of the Texas Chautauqua Assembly. This was an effort to enhance its intellectual and cultural image. The person who brought the idea to Georgetown was the Reverend C.C. Armstrong of Austin, then president of the Texas Chautauqua Assembly.

Photographs documenting children from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting church-run schools from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting churches in the Austin metro area from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting cities and towns in Central Texas from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting City of Austin council members from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting the Civil Rights era of the 1960s in Austin, Texas from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting the American Civil War (1861-1865) from the Austin Files collection. The United States was rife with conflict and controversy in the years leading to the Civil War. Perhaps nowhere was the struggle more complex than in Texas. Some Texans supported the Union, but were concerned about political attacks on Southern institutions. Texas had been part of the United States just 15 years when secessionists prevailed in a statewide election. Texas formally seceded on March 2, 1861 to become the seventh state in the new Confederacy. Gov. Sam Houston was against secession, and struggled with loyalties to both his nation and his adopted state.

Photographs of women's clothing and accessories from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting clubs from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting Concordia University from the Austin Files collection. Concordia University Texas is a private, coeducational institution of liberal arts and sciences located in northwest Austin, in the U.S. state of Texas. In the late nineteenth century Texas Lutherans of the Missouri Synod determined to build a local school to prepare their own young men for the ministry. After three short-lived attempts to establish such a college, in New Orleans in 1883, in Giddings in 1894, and at Clifton in the early twentieth century, they succeeded after World War I with the founding in Austin of Lutheran Concordia College of Texas, the name by which the school was known until 1965, when it became Concordia Lutheran College. In 1921 the Texas district requested the Missouri Synod to establish and maintain the institution. The school opened as a boys' secondary school—modeled after the German Gymnasium—preparatory for the ministry. The first president, Dr. Henry Studtmann, remembered that the district chose Austin because it was beautiful, it was the capital city, and especially because the University of Texas was located there. In 1925 the synod's board of directors and the district's board of control purchased twenty acres at the northern city limits, two miles from the Capitol and one mile from the university. The next year they laid the cornerstone for the first building, Kilian Hall. This structure was named after Rev. John Kilian, who led 500 Lutheran Wends to America from Prussia and Saxony in 1854. Its architecture, designed by the firm of Harvey P. Smith and Arthur Fehr, won an award from the Architects' Guild of Texas. The building features a pink Spanish tile roof and hand-carved front doors made by Austin artist Peter H. Mansbendel. Classes began in Kilian Hall on October 26, 1926.

Photographs documenting local confectioners (candy and ice cream shops) from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting the Confederate Woman's Home from the Austin Files collection. The Confederate Woman's Home was opened in 1908 to care for widows and wives of honorably discharged Confederate soldiers and other women who aided the Confederacy. Many of these women were related to men at the Texas Confederate Home in Austin. Residents were required to be at least sixty years of age and without means of financial support. The home was initially acquired and operated by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. In 1903 the organization established a Wives and Widows Home Committee, which raised funds for the home and oversaw its construction. In 1905 the organization purchased property north of Austin, and in 1906 A. O. Watson was hired to design a building on the site. The two-story facility, constructed in 1906–07, had fifteen bedrooms. At its opening on June 3, 1908, three women were admitted to the home; by 1909 it housed sixteen. The United Daughters of the Confederacy operated the home until 1911, relying solely on donations to cover expenses. A bill to confer the home to the state was vetoed by Governor Samuel Willis Tucker Lanham in 1905. In 1907 a constitutional amendment providing for state ownership of the home was rejected by Texas voters. The amendment was resubmitted to the voters in 1911 and passed by a wide margin. The property was deeded to the state. At the time of the transfer, the institution had eighteen residents. The state placed the eleemosynary institution under a six-member board of managers. In 1913 the state constructed a large two-story brick addition, designed by Page Brothers, architects, which included twenty-four new bedrooms. To accommodate the growing number of ailing patients, a brick hospital building was built in 1916, with a hospital annex added eight years later. The institution was placed under the Board of Control in 1920, and housed between eighty and 110 residents from 1920 through 1935. By the late 1930s new admissions to the home were decreasing and most of the surviving women were in poor health. From 1938 to 1945, the population of the home fell from eighty-seven to fifty-five. In 1949 the home fell under the jurisdiction of the Board of Texas State Hospitals and Special Schools. During the late 1950s, the nine remaining residents were consolidated into one hospital wing. In 1963 the last three residents were moved to private nursing homes at state expense, and the facility was closed. The state sold the property in 1986. The home cared for more than 3,400 indigent women over a period of fifty-five years. It was popular with the Austin community, and was the site of many community events over the years.

Media documenting courthouses in Austin and Travis County

Photographs documenting Texas courts from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting Travis County courts from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting creeks in Austin and surrounding areas

Photographs documenting motorcycles and cycling from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting dams in the Austin metro area

Media documenting dance and dancers from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting department stores from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting diseases from sources Austin, Texas

Photographs documenting Austin area drugstores from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting ecology in the Austin and Travis County from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting electronics and related businesses from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting enslaved persons from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting the history of the Austin Fire Department

Media documenting volunteer fire departments and fire fighters from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting flags, seals, and emblems from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting food production facilities in Central Texas from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting forts from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting foundries from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting Austin gardens and gardeners from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting geology in Austin/Travis County from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting golf and golfing from the Austin Files collection.

Media documenting the Texas Governor's Mansion in Austin, Texas. The Texas Governor's Mansion, is a historic home for the governor of Texas in downtown Austin, Texas. Designed by prominent architect Abner Cook, it was built in 1854 and has been the home of every governor since 1856. It is the fourth oldest continuously occupied governors residence in the country and the oldest governors mansion west of the Mississippi River.

Media documenting Texas governors from the Austin Files colleciton

Photographs documenting grocery stores from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting hardware stores from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting the Headliners Club from the Austin Files collection. The Headliners Club was conceived by Charles E. Green, the long-time Executive Editor of the Austin American-Statesman, as a comfortable environment for those who make the Headlines and those who write the Headlines. Before settling into its current 21st floor location above downtown Austin at Sixth and Lavaca, the Club operated from facilities in the historic Driskill Hotel and later, atop the Westgate Building, near the Texas Capitol.

Media documenting Texas highways in the Austin metro area

Media documenting holiday celebrations from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting Hornsby Bend from the Austin Files collection. Hornsby Bend, also known as Hornsby or Hornsby's, is on Farm Road 969 and the Colorado River, nine miles east of Austin in eastern Travis County. It was named for Reuben Hornsby, who settled there in 1832 and served as postmaster during the Republic of Texas era. The community has been called the oldest settlement in Travis County. A United States post office was established at Hornsby Bend in 1856, but it was discontinued during the Civil War and not reopened until 1886. The community had two general stores in 1892. Its post office was discontinued in 1901, and mail for Hornsby Bend was sent to Austin. In 1905 the Hornsby Bend schools combined with those of Dunlap to form the Hornsby-Dunlap common school district. The Hornsby-Dunlap district was annexed to the Del Valle Independent School District in 1967. The population of Hornsby Bend was reported as ten in the 1930s and 1940s and as twenty from the 1950s through 2000.

Media documenting hotels and taverns in the Austin metro area

Media documenting housing projects from the Austin Files collection

MMedia documenting Huston Tillotson a private historically black university in Austin, Texas. Established in 1875, Huston–Tillotson University was the first institution of higher learning in Austin. The university is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, and the United Negro College Fund.

Media documenting the Latinx community in Austin, Texas

Media documenting the LGBTQ community in the Austin metro area

Photos documenting Austin Public Library branches from the Austin Files collection

Images documenting McKinney Falls State Park from the Austin Files collection. Artifacts found in the park illustrate a long and rich Native American history. Exactly which early groups were here is unknown. Some may have become part of modern tribes in Texas, such as the Tonkawa. From the late 1600s to the early 1800s, a portion of El Ca­mi­no Real de los Tejas ran through what is now the park. Missionaries, friars, government of­fi­cials, soldiers and traders travelled along various routes from Spanish-controlled Mexico in­to Texas and Louisiana during this period. Reasons for expeditions varied. Mis­sion­aries and friars hoped to convert Native Americans to Christianity. Govern­ment of­fi­cials and soldiers wanted to defend Spain’s interests in the New World from the French. Traders used the routes for commerce. His­tori­cal evidence suggests some of these expeditions crossed Onion Creek just above the Lower Falls. By 1850, Thomas McKinney was living on this property along Onion Creek, near a crossing of the El Camino Real. Kentucky-born McKinney had settled in San Felipe de Austin in 1830 as one of Stephen F. Austin’s first 300 colonists before moving to Galveston. McKinney and Samuel May Williams entered into a business partnership in 1834 that was to have profound effects on Texas history. During the Texas Revolution, the McKinney-Williams firm was the primary source of men, money, and supplies for the Texas army. It financed over $150,000 - more than 10 percent of the total cost of the revolution. The McKinney-Williams ships formed a part of the quickly-assembled Texas Navy. Voters elected McKinney as a senator to the first legislature in Austin. During this time, he made plans for his new home on Onion Creek. Between 1850 and 1852, McKinney built a two-story limestone home, gristmill and dam on his ranch. Developed by McKinney’s enslaved persons, his ranch continued to grow in number of structures, livestock and other assets. McKinney owned and bred a number of thoroughbred racehorses, and even had his own racetrack somewhere on the ranch. McKinney died on Oct. 2, 1873, at his home. He was deeply in debt. His peers remembered him fondly and gave him an elabo­rate funeral service on the steps of the Capitol building. He is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Austin. Look for the ruins of McKinney's homestead, his horse trainer's cabin, gristmill and stone walls in the park. After McKinney’s death, his widow, Anna, sold the property to James Woods Smith. Members of the Smith family owned and farmed the land for several generations before donating it to the State of Texas in 1973. The park officially opened to the public in 1976.

Media documenting movie theaters in the Austin metro area

Media documenting the municipal airport in Austin, Texas

Media documenting Austin museums from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting music festivals in Austin, Texas

Media documenting music venues in the Austin metro area

Photographs documenting music society groups from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting the Music Trade in Austin, Texas

Photographs and illustrations documenting Native Americans/Indigenous peoples of Central Texas from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting community centers in the Austin metro area

New Sweden is on Farm Road 973 five miles northeast of Manor in northeastern Travis County. It was established in 1873 and was known then as Knight's Ranch; with the establishment of the New Sweden Lutheran Church in 1876, however, the community became known as New Sweden (sometimes spelled New Sweeden). A cotton gin began operation at New Sweden in 1882, and a post office opened in 1887. The community had two general stores and forty-two residents by the mid-1890s. By 1900 its population had increased to 104. The post office was discontinued in 1902, and mail for the community was sent to Manor. By the early 1930s the number of residents had fallen to twenty-five, but by the end of the decade the population was reported at sixty. New Sweden served as the focus of a common-school district until the early 1940s, when it and several other schools were consolidated to form the Manda school district. From the early 1960s through 1990 the population of New Sweden was reported at sixty.

Photographs documenting local plant nurseries from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting parks in the Austin metro area

Media documenting the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department

Media documenting the Austin Police Department

Postcards documenting Austin, Texas from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting private schools from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting protests and demonstrations in the Austin metro area

Media documenting public school board members from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting public schools in the Austin metro area

Photographs documenting public welfare from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting the history of radio in Austin, Texas from the Austin Files collection

Photographs of railroads from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting restaurants from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting the rural schools located in Travis County from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting bars in the Austin metro area

Media documenting segregation in Austin, Texas from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting shopping centers from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting the Special Olympics from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting streetcars and street railway companies in Austin, Texas

Media documenting streets in Austin, Texas

Media documenting various subdivisions in the Austin metro area

Photographs documenting swimming from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting the Texas Blind, Deaf, and Orphan School from the Austin Files collection. The Texas Blind, Deaf, and Orphan School, a charity-sponsored institution for black children, was located on a hundred-acre tract on Bull Creek Road between 38th and 45th streets, about four miles northwest of the Austin business district. It was established as the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Institute for Colored Youth in 1887 by the Eighteenth Legislature. A $50,000 appropriation was made to buy land and to construct appropriate buildings; the board of trustees included H. E. Shelley, J. T. Fulmore, and William M. Brown. Seventeen pupils and two teachers were present for the opening of the school on October 17, 1887. The initial campus consisted only of an eleven-room residence, but in 1888 a new two-story brick building was added to provide more classroom and dormitory space. In 1919 the school was placed under the jurisdiction of the newly created Board of Control. Various additions and renovations took place during the next several decades; by the 1940s the school had twelve brick buildings and one stone building, including dormitories, classrooms, hospital, superintendent's residence, and dining room. Instruction at the accredited high school emphasized training in trades and industries. Among the courses offered were manual labor, broom making, mattress making, shoemaking and repair, tailoring, cleaning and pressing, cooking, sewing, rug making, and other handicrafts. The hospital furnished surgical, medical, dental, and nursing services; specialists for eye, ear, nose, and throat ailments were employed part-time. Some poultry and farm products were raised each year for the home's own use. Texas School for the Deaf Administration Building Texas School for the Deaf Administration Building. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. Texas School for the Deaf Historical Marker Texas School for the Deaf Historical Marker. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. When the State Colored Orphans' Home was combined with the institute in 1943, the name of the facility was changed to Texas Blind, Deaf, and Orphan School. The school was moved to 601 Airport Boulevard, the former site of the Montopolis Drive-in Theater, in 1961, after the legislature appropriated $1.5 million for the construction of eleven buildings to accommodate the 1,208 students. The school was placed under the jurisdiction of the Texas Education Agency in 1965, and its name was changed to Texas Blind and Deaf School. It was combined with the Texas School for the Deaf later that year. The campus of the former Texas Blind and Deaf School served as the East Campus facility of the Texas School for the Deaf, and housed programs in early childhood and elementary education, as well as the department for multihandicapped deaf students. In 1989 the legislature appropriated money for the renovation of the School for the Deaf's South Campus, and plans were made to move all of the programs to the new facilities once the construction was completed. In the early 1990s no decision about the future use of the East Campus facility had been made.

Photographs documenting the Texas School for the Blind from the Austin Files collection. The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired was established in Austin by the Sixth Texas Legislature on August 16, 1856, as the Asylum for the Blind, with five members of the board of trustees appointed by Gov. Elisha M. Pease. The first location of the school was the leased residence of Mr. W. L. Hill, west of the University of Texas on San Gabriel Street. That location is now the site of the Neill-Cochran House Museum. Dr. S. W. Baker, family doctor and close personal friend of Governor Pease, was the first superintendent. By 1857, three students were in attendance. Parents of the students paid tuition and expenses, but as needed, the tuition and expenses of the students were met by the school. The second location of the school was Block 71 of the area long known as Little Campus, now Heman Sweatt Campus, at the University of Texas. The main school building is now known as the Arno Nowotny Building. The cost of the new facilities was $12,390.00 and was completed in late 1857. In 1905 the legislature changed the name to Blind Institute, and in 1915 the name Texas School for the Blind was adopted. White, including Spanish-speaking, children between the ages of six and nineteen were admitted by direct application to the superintendent. A five dollar a week fee for incidentals was required of those able to pay; indigents were taken free of charge. By legislative provision there was no charge for board. In 1917 the institution was moved to its present location at 45th Street and Lamar Blvd, made possible by appropriations of the Thirty-fourth and Thirty-fifth legislatures for the erection of buildings on the campus donated by citizens of Austin.

Photographs and media documenting the Texas School for the Deaf from the Austin Files collection. The Texas School for the Deaf ’s campus in Austin is older than the State Capitol just up Congress Avenue. Founded in 1856 by the Sixth Legislature, the Texas School for the Deaf is the oldest continuously operating public school in Texas. The school, then called Texas Deaf and Dumb Asylum, was appropriated $10,000 for the biennium. The current 67.5-acre site on South Congress Avenue is the site of the original campus. TSD has been through a number of dramatic changes over the years. Significant historical events include the establishment of a state printing office at the school in 1876, the first ten-year course of study for graduation in 1887 and the construction of a new vocational and education building in 1900. The school’s enrollment and building projects continued to grow from 1900 to 1945. During this time, science and library facilities were built and the number of teachers increased from 14 to 44. Today, the school’s printing is done on an industry standard state of the art digital printer. Student curricula has also expanded to include web design, digital animation and graphics. The school’s historic Lone Star magazine is printed at TSD by students. In 1949, the School was placed under the newly created Board for Texas State Hospitals and Special Schools, and the official name of the School was changed to the Texas School for the Deaf. In 1951, after almost a century of effort to identify TSD as an educational institution, the Legislature directed that the State Board of Education would govern the schools. In 1965, the state schools for the blind and the deaf were combined under a Directors of Special Schools for the State of Texas. Also in 1965, the Texas Deaf and Blind and Orphan School for Colored Youths on Airport Boulevard integrated its students with the special schools. This facility became TSD’s East Campus, which was occupied by TSD students through the 2000-2001 school year, when it was sold to the City of Austin. Regional Day Schools Established. In 1973, Senate Bill 803 established the Regional Day Programs for the Deaf in Texas. These programs were under the Texas Education Agency and were designed to serve deaf and hard of hearing students within local public school districts. In 1979, the Legislature transferred the responsibility of governing TSD from the State Board of Education to a nine-member Board of Trustees appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The Board was directed to organize and conduct itself like an independent school district board of trustees. The TSD Board must consist of 51% deaf individuals and include parents, alumni and professionals in deafness. Today, the Board and the Superintendent of TSD are a cohesive leadership team. In the late 1980’s, a decision was made to consolidate TSD’s two campuses and a plan to design 458,000 square feet of new construction began. From 1990 to present, TSD has been engaged in a major facility construction plan. One reason for the $65-million dollar appropriation by the state Legislature was a sense that the School for the Deaf facilities were both outdated and inefficient. Another reason was the hope that consolidating the campuses would save money—one campus would need one health center instead of two, one security department, one maintenance department, and one cafeteria. Barnes Architects of Austin was hired to design the campus, and in 1999, their design was one of five top winning designs in the state.

Media documenting performing arts venues in Austin, Texas

Images documenting the Hancock Opera House from the Austin Files collection. n 1894, Lewis Hancock solicited bids to build a new theater in Austin, commenting that the existing spaces had long been a “thorn in the side of Austin’s theater going public.” Two years later, on September 24, 1896, he opened the Hancock Opera House at 112-4 West 6th street, roughly in the middle of the block between Congress and Colorado. The Statesman called it a “temple for the dramatic and musically cultured for times to come … furnished in white, gold and cardinal.” Over the years the Hancock hosted national celebrities such as Sarah Bernhardt, Ethel Barrymore, Tyrone Power Sr., and Lillian Russell. It was even the sight of the first public performance of the song, “The Eyes of Texas.” But more than the performers, the Hancock was best known for its elaborate sets and stagecraft. In 1904, the Hancock hosted the Austin premiere of the Broadway play Ben Hur, including a chariot race with 6 live horses! The Hancock was also the home to the first motion picture exhibition in Austin on October 10, 1896, when a short film was projected as part of a vaudeville act. The Hancock began showing movies as part of its regular billing in 1910 and was the first theater to permanently install a movie projector. The Interstate Theater Circuit took over operations of the Hancock Theater, renovated the building, and reopened it as the Capitol Theater in 1934. It closed on December 31, 1963, with its last show being “Girls A-Poppin.” The Texas Fine Arts Association hoped to restore the building to its original grandeur and reopen it as the Hancock Opera House, but they were unsuccessful, and the theater was razed to put in a parking lot in the late 1960s.

Photographs documenting the Millet Opera House from the Austin Files collection. The Millett Opera House, at 110 East Ninth Street, has been the home of The Austin Club since 1981. Built by city father Captain Charles F. Millett in 1878, the building was designed by leading architect Frederick E. Ruffini. When completed, the opera house was second in size and grandeur only to the Galveston Opera House. It had 800 moveable seats, balcony, private boxes and an exquisite hand-painted ceiling, a portion of which now hangs in the club’s House Conference Room. The Opera House had programs ranging from medicine shows to legislative sessions while the new Capitol was being constructed. It also hosted church services, political conventions, graduations, dances and recitals, as well as opera and theater productions. Notables who performed in front of its kerosene footlights include John L. Sullivan, Williams Jennings Bryan, John Phillip Sousa, Lily Langtry, Joseph Jefferson, James O’Neill and John Wilkes Booth’s brother, Edwin. In 1896 the building was converted to a skating rink and household storage space. Subsequent owners included the Knights of Columbus, who added the front portico in 1911. In 1940 the Austin Public Free Schools purchased the property. It was threatened with destruction in 1956 but survived when a prominent printing and office supply company took out a long term lease and restored much of the first floor.

Photographs documenting Lady Bird Lake, also known as Town Lake, from the Austin Files collection. Lady Bird Lake is a river-like reservoir on the Colorado River in Austin, Texas, United States. The City of Austin created the reservoir in 1960 as a cooling pond for a new city power plant. The lake, which has a surface area of 416 acres, is now used primarily for recreation and flood control.

Media documenting the Treaty Oak in Austin, Texas from the Austin Files collection. The Treaty Oak is a Texas live oak tree in Austin, Texas, United States, and the last surviving member of the Council Oaks, a grove of 14 trees that served as a sacred meeting place for Comanche and Tonkawa tribes prior to European settlement of the region.

Media documenting the history of University of Texas athletics

Media documenting buildings on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin

Media documenting the various housing for students of the University of Texas at Austin

Media documenting official visits from celebrities and politicians from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting various weather events in the Austin metro area

Media documenting wildflowers from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting women in Austin and Travis County

Photographs documenting the Woman Suffrage movement in Austin, Texas from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting World War I from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting World War II from the Austin Files collection

Photographs documenting the YMCA in Austin, Texas from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting Zilker Park in Austin, Texas from the Austin Files collection

Media documenting Barton Springs located in Zilker Park from the Austin Files collection

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