In my continuing quest to visit Austin’s many museums, last week I walked up to the Austin History Center, on the corner of Guadalupe and 8th Streets. I was surprised to learn that the Center is actually the local history division of the Austin Public Library. Built in 1933, this was originally the main library building, but became the Austin History Center in 1983 after the much-larger central library was opened next door.
- Deco and Moderne: Austin Architecture in the 1930s features photographs and drawings of Austin buildings built in that decade, including many public buildings that are sometimes called “WPA Deco” due to their New Deal funding. I’ve admired many of these buildings on my walks downtown, including the Greer State Highway Building (11th Street) which was built in 1933.
- Sounding Together: 100 Years of the Austin Symphony traces the history of the Austin Symphony Orchestra from 1911 to 2011. This exhibit has been on display since last fall. While I was browsing the displays, three women (maybe from the Women’s Symphony League?) were discussing what to do with the photos and artifacts when the exhibit ends next month. Their conversation was almost as interesting as the exhibit itself.