Austin July 26, 2017
10 Then And Now Photos In Austin That Show Just How Much It Has Changed
Austin is an ever-evolving city. Even in the last 10 years, the capitol city has undergone tremendous changes. Some adjustments bring progress and advancement while others leave us nostalgic for days gone by. No matter what effect these changes bring, it’s always fascinating to look back on the past. Let’s take a walk through history with these 10 then and now photos.
1. The Paramount Theatre
This vaudevillian theatre, located at 713 Congress Ave, opened its doors as "The Majestic" in 1915. Through the years, it's programming and clientele have changed, but the stunning architecture and antique fire curtain remain in pristine condition. Read more about the historic Paramount Theatre
2. The Armadillo World Headquarters
If you lived in Austin during the '70s, there's no doubt you have some fond memories from The 'Dillo. This iconic venue helped kick-start Austin's live music scene, but it was sadly demolished in 1980. Today, Threadgill's World Headquarters stands near The Dillo's original location. Though nothing will compare to The Armadillo's Legacy, Threagdill's pays homage to this legendary joint with artistically decorated armadillos and thrilling music.
3. The University of Texas Main Building
Today's campus looks nothing like it did in yesteryear. Much to the dismay of students at the time, UT's Gothic towers were bulldozed in 1934 and replaced with the bell tower that stands today.
4. St. Edward's Athletics
While the sport remains the same, the apparel has undergone quite a few changes. The above picture shows St. Edward's University's 1954 swim team wearing tiny swim trunks and bright tank tops.
5. The Austin Landscape
It's almost hard to tell what city is depicted in the first photo. The map shows Austin in 1887, back in the days when it was illegal to build anything taller than the Texas State Capitol Building. The second photo shows Austin's sprawling skyline beyond MoPac Road. My, how things have changed.
6. Lady Bird Lake
In 1985, St. Edward's students celebrated the university's centennial on what was then known as Town Lake. Fast forward 30 years, and the body of water looks pretty similar. Of course, the name has since changed to honor Lady Bird Johnson, and the skyline has expanded into an unrecognizable landscape.
7. The Austin Dam
The first picture shows the aftermath of The Austin Dam disaster in 1900 just one hour after it broke. This catastrophe killed a dozen people and left the city of Austin without power for several months. In 1940, the Tom Miller Dam was built to replace it. This dam sits on the edge of the Colorado River and creates Lake Austin.
8. The Goddess of Liberty
The magnificent goddess of liberty was placed on top of the capitol building in 1888. Over time, however, Texas' divine goddess started to loose her spark. In the mid '80s, she was replaced with a similar model made of lighter material. The original goddess now lives at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.
9. Barton Springs Pool
Long before Barton Springs became a local hotspot, this creek was used in Native American rituals. The pool has transformed throughout the years, and it became the swimming hole we all know and love in the 1830s.
10. The Driskill Hotel
This haunted hotel has been around longer than the capitol building! Constructed in 1886 by Jesse Driskill, this luxurious hotel has seen its share of Austin history. LBJ had his first date with Lady Bird at the scrumptious 1886 cafe, and he even watched the presidential results roll in right in the lobby. Some say this hotel is so beautiful that some souls never want to leave. You can read more about The Drikill's ghostly history
My, how the city has grown! What’s your fondest memory from nostalgic Austin?