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Nothing is experienced by itself,

but alw

ways in relation to its surroundings




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1 Looking at cities can give a special pleasure, however commonplace the sight may be. Like a piece of architecture, the city is a construction in space, but one of vast scale, a thing perceived only in the course of long spans of time. City design is therefore a temporal art, but it can rarely use the controlled and limited sequences of other temporal arts like music. On different occasions and for different people, the sequences are reversed, interrupted, abandoned, cut across. It is seen in all lights and all weathers. At every instant, there is more than the eye

THE IMAGE OF THE CITY can see, more than the ear can hear, a setting or a view waiting to be explored. Nothing is experienced by itself, but always in relation to its surroundings, the sequences of events leading up to it, the memory of past experiences.‌Every citizen has had long associations with some part of this city, and his image is soaked in memories and meanings. Moving elements in a city , and in particular the people and their activities, are as important as the stationary physical parts. We are not simply observers of this spectacle, but are ourselves a part of it, on the stage with the other participants. Most



often, our perception of the city is not sustained, but rather partial, fragmentary, mixed with other concerns. Nearly every sense is in operation, and the image is the composite of them all. Not only is the city an object which is perceived (and perhaps enjoyed) by millions of people of widely diverse class and character, but it is the product of many builders who are constantly modifying the structure for reasons of their own. while it may be stable in general outlines for some time, it is ever changing in detail. Only partial control can be exercised over its growth and form. There is no

final result, only a continuous succession of phases. No wonder, then, that the art of shaping cities for sensuous enjoyment is an art quite separate from architecture or music or literature. it may learn a great deal from these other arts, but it cannot imitate them. Not only is the city an object which is perceived (and perhaps enjoyed) by millions of people of widely diverse class and character, but it is the product of many builders who are constantly modifying the structure for reasons of their own. while it may be stable in general outlines for some time, it



is ever changing in detail. Only partial control can be exercised over its growth and form. There is no final result, only a continuous succession of phases. No wonder, then, that the art of shaping cities for sensuous enjoyment is an art quite separate from architecture or music or literature. it may learn a great deal from these other arts, but it cannot imitate them. Although clarity or legibility is by no means the only important property of a beautiful city, it is of special importance when considering environments at the urban scale of size, time, and com-


plexity. To understand this, we must consider not just the city as a thing in itself, but the city being perceived by its inhabitants. Structuring and identifying the environment is a vital ability among all mobile animals. Many kinds of cues are used: the visual sensations of color, shape, motion, or polarization of light, as well as other senses such as smell, sound, touch, kinesthesia, sense of gravity, and perhaps of electric or magnetic fields. Psychologists have also studied this ability in man, although rather sketchily or under limited laboratory conditions. Despite a few remain-


ing puzzles, it now seems unlikely that there is any mystic “instinct” of way-finding. Rather there is a consistent use and organization of definite sensory cues from the external environment. This organization is fundamental to the efficiency and to the very survival of free-moving life. To become completely lost is perhaps a rather rare experience for most people in the modern city. We are supported by the presence of others and by special way-finding devices: maps, street numbers, route signs, bus placards. But let the mishap of disorientation once occur, and the sense of

anxiety and even terror that accompanies it reveals to us how closely it is linked to our sense of balance and well-being. the very word “lost” in our language means much more than simple geographical uncertainty; it carries overtones of utter disaster. In the process of way-finding, the strategic link is the environmental image, the generalized mental picture of the exterior physical world that is held by an individual. This images is the product both of immediate sensation and of the memory of past experience, and it is used to interpret information and to guide experience, and it is used to







interpret information and to guide action. The need to recognize and pattern our surroundings is so crucial, and has such long roots in the past, that this image has wide practical and emotional importance to the individual. Obviously a clear image enables one to move about easily and quickly: to find a friend’s house or a policeman or a button store. But an ordered environment can do more than this; it may serve as a road frame of reference, an organizer of activity or belief or knowledge. On the basis of a structural understanding of Manhattan, for example,

one can order a substantial quantity of facts and fancies about the nature of the world we live in. Like any good framework, such a structure gives the individual a possibility of choice and a startingpoint for the acquisition of further information. A clear image of the surroundings is thus a useful basis for individual growth. A vivid and integrated physical setting, capable of producing a sharp image, plays a social role as well. It can furnish the raw material for the symbols and collective memories of group communication. A striking landscape is the skeleton upon


which many primitive races erect their socially important myths. Common memories of the “ home town� were often the first and easiest point of contact between lonely soldiers during the war. A good environmental image gives its possessor an important sense of emotional security. She can establish an harmonious relationship between herself and the outside world. This is the obverse of the fear that comes with disorientation; it means that the sweet sense of home is strongest when home is not only familiar but distinctive as well. Indeed, a distinctive and legible environment not only offers security but also heightens the


potential depth and intensity of human experience. Although life is far from impossible in the visual chaos of the modern city, the same daily action could take on new meaning if carried out in a more vivd setting. Potentially, the city is in itself the powerful symbol of a complex society. If visually well set forth, it can also have strong expressive meaning. It may be argued against the importance of physical legibility that the human brain is marvelously adaptable, that with some experience one can learn to pick one’s way through the most disordered or featureless surroundings. there are abundant


examples of precise navigation over the “trackless� wastes of sea, sand, or ice, or through a tangle maze of jungle. Yet even the sea has the sun and stars, the winds, currents, birds, and sea-colors without which unaided navigation would be impossible. The fact that only skilled professionals could navigate among the Polynesian Islands, and this only after extensive training, indicates the difficulties imposed by this particular environment. Strain and anxiety accompanied even the best-prepared expeditions. In our own world, we might say that al-

most everyone can, if attentive, learn to navigate in Jersey City, but only at the cost of some effort and uncertainty. Moreover, the positive values of legible surroundings are missing: the emotional satisfaction, the framework for communication or conceptual organization, the new depths that it may bring to everyday experience. These are pleasures we lack, even if our present city environment is not so disordered as to impose an intolerable strain on those who are familiar with it. It must be granted that there is some value in mystification, labyrinth, or surprise in the envi-



ronment. Many of us enjoy the House of Mirrors, and there is a certain charm in the crooked streets of Boston. This is so, however, only under two conditions. First, there must be no danger of losing basic form or orientation, of never coming out. The surprise must occur in an over-all framework; the confusions must be small regions in a visible whole. Furthermore, the labyrinth or mystery must in itself have some form that can be explored and in time be apprehended. Complete chaos without hint of connection is never pleasurable. But these second thoughts point to an im-

portant qualification. The observer himself should play an active role in perceiving the world and have a creative part in developing his image. He should have the power to change that image to fit changing needs. An environment which is ordered in precise and final detail may inhibit new patterns of activity. A landscape whose every rock tells a story may make difficult the creation of fresh stories. Although this may not seem to be a critical issue in our present urban chaos, yet it indicates that what we seek is not a final but an open-ended order, capable of continuous further development.






Environmental images are the result of a two-way process between the observer and his environment. The environment suggest distinctions and relations, and the observer—with great adaptability and in the light of his own purposes—selects, organizes, and endows with meaning what he sees. The image so developed now limits and emphasizes what is seen, while the image itself is being tested against the filtered perceptual input in a constant interacting process. Thus the image of a given reality may vary significantly between different observers. The coherence of the image may arise in







several ways. There may be little in the real object that is ordered or remarkable, and yet its mental picture has gained identity and organization through long familiarity. One man may find objects easily on what seems to anyone else to be a totally disordered work table. Alternatively, an object seen for the first time may be identified and related not because it is individually familiar but because it conforms to a stereotype already constructed by the observer. An American can always spot the corner drugstore, however indistinguishable it might be to a Bushman. Again, a new object may seem to have strong

structure or identity because of striking physical features which suggest or impose their own pattern. Thus the sea or a great mountain can rivet the attention of one coming form the flat plains of the interior, even if he is so young or so parochial as to have no name for these great phenomena. As manipulators of the physical environment, city planners are primarily interested in the external agent in the interaction which produces the environmental image. Different environments resist or facilitate the process of image-making. Any given form, a fine vase or a lump of clay, will have a


high or a low probability of evoking a strong image among various observers. Presumably this probability can be stated with greater and greater precision as the observers are grouped in more and more homogeneous classes of age, sex, culture, occupation, temperament, or familiarity. Each individual creates and bears his own image, but there seems to be substantial agreement among members of the same group. It is these group images, exhibiting consensus among significant numbers, that interest city planners who aspire to model an environment that will be used by many people. The systems of orientation which have been

used vary widely throughout the world, changing from culture to culture, and from landscape to landscape. the world may be organized around a set of focal points, or be broken into named regions, or be linked by remembered routes. Varied as these methods are, and inexhaustible as seem to e the potential clues which a man may pick out to differentiate his world, they cast interesting side-lights on the means that we use today to locate ourselves in our own city world. For the most part these examples seem to echo, curiously enough, the formal types of image elements into which we can conveniently divide the city image: path, landmark, edge, node, and district.




An environmental image may be analyzed into three components: identity, structure, and meaning. It is useful to abstract these for analysis if it is remembered that in reality they always appear together. A workable image require first the identification of an object, which implies its distinction from other things, its recognition as a separable entity. This is called identity not in the sense of equality with something else, but with the meaning of individuality or oneness. Second, the image must include the spatial or pattern relation of the object to the observer and to other objects. Finally, this

object must have some meaning for the observer, whether practical or emotional. Meaning is also a relation, but quite a different one from spatial or pattern relation. Thus an image useful for making an exit requires the recognition of a door as a distinct entity, of its spatial relation to the observer, and its meaning as a hole for getting out. these are not truly separable. the visual recognition of a door is matted together with its meaning as a door. It is possible, however, to analyze the door in terms of its identity of form and clarity of position, considered as if they

were prior to its meaning. Such an analytic feat might be pointless in the study of a door, but not in the study of the urban environment. to begin with, the question of meaning in the city is a complicated one. Group images of meaning are less likely to be consistent at this level than are the perceptions of entity and relationship. Meaning, moreover, is not so easily influenced by physical manipulation as are these other two components. If it is our purpose to build cities for the enjoyment of vast numbers of people of widely diverse background—and cities which will also be






adaptable to future purposes—we may even be wise to concentrate on the physical clarity of the image and to allow meaning to develop without our direct guidance. the image of the Manhattan skyline may stand for vitality, power, decadence, mystery, congestion, greatness, or what you will, but in each case that sharp picture crystalizes and reinforces the meaning. So various are the individual meanings of a city, even while its form may be easily communicable, that it appears possible to separate meaning from form, at least in the early stages of analysis. This study will therefore concentrate on the identity


and structure of city images. If an images is to have value for orientation in the living space, it must have several qualities. It must be sufficient, true in a pragmatic sense, allowing the individual to operate within his environment to the extent desired. The map, whether exact or not, must be good enough to get one home. It must be sufficiently clear and well integrated to be economical of mental effort: the map must be readable. It should be safe, with a surplus of clues so that alternative actions are possible and the risk of failure is not too high. If a blinking light is the only sign for

a critical turn, a power failure may cause disaster. the image should preferably be open-ended, adaptable to change, allowing the individual to continue to investigate and organize reality: there should be blank spaces where he can extend the drawing for himself. Finally, it should in some measure be communicable to other individuals. The relative importance of these criteria for a “good� image will vary with different persons in different situations; one will prize an economical and sufficient system, another an open-ended and communicable one.








Since the emphasis here will be on the physical environment. as the independent variable, this study will look for physical qualities which relate to the attributes of identity and structure in the mental image. this leads to the definition of what might be called imageability: that quality in a physical object which gives it a high probability of evoking a strong image in any given observer. It is that shape, color, or arrangement which facilitates the making of vividly identified, powerfully structured, highly useful mental images of the environment. It might also be called legibility, or perhaps visibility in a

heightened sense, where objects are not only able to be seen, but are presented sharply and intensely to the senses. Half a century ago, Stern discussed this attribute of an artistic object and called it apparency. While art is not limited to this single end, he felt that one of its two basic functions was “to create images which by clarity and harmony of form fulfill the meed for vividly comprehensible appearance.� In his mind, this was an essential first step toward the expression of inner meaning. A highly imageable (apparent, legible, or




visible) city in this peculiar sense would seem well formed, distinct, remarkable; it would invite the eye and the ear to greater attention and participation. The sensuous grasp upon such surroundings would not merely be simplified, but also extended and deepened. Such a city would be one that would be apprehended over time as a pattern of high continuity with many distinctive parts clearly interconnected. The perceptive and familiar observer could absorb new sensuous impacts without disruption of his basic image, and each new impact would touch upon many previous elements. He would be well



oriented, and he could move easily. He would be highly aware of his environment. The city of Venice might be an example of such a highly imageable environment. In the United States, one is tempted to cite parts of manhattan, San Francisco, Boston, or perhaps the lake front of Chicago. These are characterizations that flow from our definitions. the concept of imageability does not necessarily connote something fixed, limited, precise, unified, or regularly ordered, although it may sometimes have these qualities. Nor does it mean apparent at at glance, obvious, patent, or plain. The


total environment to be patterned is highly complex, while the obvious image is soon boring, and can point to only a few features of the living world. The imageability of city form will be the center of the study to follow there are other basic properties in a beautiful environment: meaning or expressiveness, sensuous delight, rhythm, stimulus, choice. Our concentration on imageability does not deny their importance. Our purpose is simply to consider the need for identity and structure in our perceptual world, and to illustrate the special relevance of this quality to the particular case of the



complex, shifting urban environment. Since image development is a two-way process between observer and observed, it is possible to strengthen the image either by symbolic devices, by the retaining of the perceiver, or by reshaping one’s surroundings, You can provide the viewer with a symbolic diagram of how the world fits tother: a map or a set of written instructions. As long as he can fit reality to the diagram, he has a clue to the relatedness of things. You can even install a machine for giving directions, as has recently been done in New York. While such devices are extremely useful

for providing condensed data on interconnections, they are also precarious, since orientation fails if the device is lost, and the device itself must constantly be referred and fitted to reality.‌Moreover, the complete experience of interconnection the full depth of a vivid image, is lacking. You may also train the observer. Brown remarks that a maze through which subjects were asked to move blindfolded seemed to them at first to be one unbroken problem. On repetition, parts of the pattern, particularly the beginning and end, became familiar and assumed the character of


localities. Finally, when they could tread the maze without error, the whole system seemed to have become one locality. DeSilva describes the case of a boy who seemed to have “automatic” directional orientation, but proved to have been trained from infancy (by a mother who could not distinguish right from left) to respond to “the east side of the port” or “the south end of the dresser.” Shipton’s account of the reconnaissance for the ascent of Everest offers a dramatic case of such learning. Approaching Everest from a new direction, Shipton immediately recognized the main peaks

and saddles that he knew from the north side. But the Sherpa guide accompanying him, to whom both sides were long familiar, had never realized that these were the same features, and he greeted the revelation with surprise and delight. Kilpatrick describes the process of perceptual learning forced on an observer by new stimuli that no longer fit into previous images. It begins with hypothetical forms that explain the new stimuli conceptually, while the illusion of the old forms persists. The personal experience of most of us will testify to this persistence of an illusory image



long after its inadequacy is conceptually realized. we stare into the jungle an see only the sunlight on the green leaves but a warning noise tells us that an animal is hidden there. the observer then learns to interpret the scene by singling out “give-away� clues and by reweighting previous signals. the camouflaged animal may now be picked up by the reflection of this eyes. Finally by repeated experience the entire pattern of perception is changed and the observer need no longer consciously search for give-aways, or add new data to an old framework. he has achieved an image which will operate success-



fully in the new situation, seeming natural and right. Quite suddenly the hidden animal appears among the leaves, “as plain as day.� In the same way, we must learn to see the hidden forms in the vast sprawl of our cities. We are not accustomed to organizing and imaging an artificial environment on such a large scale; yet our activities are pushing us toward that end. Curt Sachs gives an example of a failure to make connections beyond a certain level The voice and drumbeat of the North American Indian follow entirely different tempos, the two being perceived independently.


Searching for a musical analogy of our own, he mentions our church services, where we do not think of coordinating the choir inside with the bells above. In our vast metropolitan areas we do not connect the choir and the bells; like the Sherpa, we see only the sides of Everest and not he mountain. to extend and deepen our perception of the environment would be to continue a long biological and cultural development which has gone from the contact sense to the distant sense and from the distant senses to symbolic communications. Our thesis is that we are now able to develop our image

of the environment by operation and on the external physical shape as well as by an internal learning process. Indeed, the complexity of our environment now compels us to do so. Primitive man was forced to improve his environmental image by adapting his perception to the given landscape. He could effect minor changes in his environment with cairns, beacons, or tree blazes, but substantial modifications for visual clarity or visual interconnection were confined to house sites or religious enclosures. Only powerful civilizations can begin to act on their total environment at


a significant scale. The conscious remolding of the large-scale physical environment has been possible only recently and so the problem of environmental imageability is a new one. Technically, we can now make completely new landscapes in a brief time, as in the Dutch polders. Here the designers are already at grips with the question of how to form the total scene so that it is easy for the human observer to identify its parts and to structure the whole. We are rapidly building a new functional unit, the metropolitan region, but we have yet to grasp that this unit, too, should have its correspond-

ing image, Suzanne Langer sets the problem in her capsule definition of architecture: “it is the total environment made visible.� It is clear that the form of a city or of a metropolis will not exhibit some gigantic, stratified other. It will be a complicated pattern, continuous and whole, yet intricate and mobile. It must be plastic to the perceptual habits of citizens, open-ended to change of function and meaning, receptive to the formation of new imagery. It must invite its viewers to explore the world. True enough, we need an environment


which is not simply well organized, but poetic ad symbolic as well. It should speak of the individuals and their complex society, of their aspirations and their historical tradition, of the natural setting, and of the complicated functions and movements of the city world. But clarity of structure and vividness of identity are first steps to the development of strong symbols. By appearing as a remarkable and well knit place, the city could provide a ground for the clustering and organization of these meanings and associations Such a sense of place in itself enhances every human activity that occurs there, and encour-







ages the deposit of a memory trace. By the intensity of its life and the close packing of its disparate people, the great city is a romantic place, rich in symbolic detail. it is for us both splendid and terrifying, “the landscape of our confusions,� as Flanagan calls it. Were it legible, truly visible, then fear and confusion might be replaced with delight in the richness and power of the scene. In the development of the image, education in seeing will be quite as important as the reshaping of what is seen. Indeed, they together form a cir-

cular, or hopefully a spiral, process: visual education impelling the citizen to act upon his visual world, and this action causing him to see even more acutely. A highly developed art of urban design is linked to the creation of a critical and attentive audience. If art and audience grow together, then our cities will be a source of daily enjoyment to millions of their inhabitants.


2 Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 14th most populous city in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in the nation from 2000 to 2006. Austin has a population of 790,390 (2010 U.S. Census). The city is the cultural and economic center of the Austin–Round Rock–San Marcos metropolitan area, which has a population of over 1,716,291 (2010 U.S. Census), making it the 35th-largest metropolitan area in the

EXPLORING AUSTIN, TX United States. The area was settled in the 1830s on the banks of the Colorado River by pioneers who named the village Waterloo. In 1839, Waterloo was chosen to become the capital of the newly independent Republic of Texas. The city was renamed after Stephen F. Austin, known as the father of Texas. The city grew throughout the 19th century and became a center for government and education with the construction of the Texas State Capitol and the University of Texas.After a lull in growth from the Great Depression, Austin resumed its development



into a major city in the 1980s and emerged as a center for technology and business. Austin is home to many companies, high-tech and otherwise: Fortune 500 corporations Freescale Semiconductor, Forestar Group, and Whole Foods Market, are headquartered there; AMD, Apple, Broadcom, Google, IBM, Intel, Qualcomm, ShoreTel, Synopsys and Texas Instruments have prominent regional offices there. Also Dell’s Worldwide Headquarters is located in nearby Round Rock, a suburb of Austin. Residents of Austin are known as “Austinites”. They include a diverse mix of

government employees (e.g., university faculty & staff, law enforcement, political staffers); foreign and domestic college students; musicians; high-tech workers; blue-collar workers and businesspeople. The city is home to development centers for many technology corporations; it adopted the “Silicon Hills” nickname in the 1990s. However, the current official slogan promotes Austin as “The Live Music Capital of the World”, a reference to the many musicians and live music venues within the area, and the long-running PBS TV concert series Austin City Limits . In recent years, some Austinites


have also adopted the unofficial slogan “Keep Austin Weird”. This interpretation of the classic, “Texas-style” sense of independence refers to: the traditional and proudly eclectic, liberal lifestyles of many Austin residents; a desire to protect small, unique, local businesses from being overrun by large corporations; and, as a reaction to the perceived rise of conservative influences within the community. In the late 1800s, Austin also became known as the City of the “Violet Crown” for the wintertime violet glow of color across the hills just after sunset. Even today, many Austin businesses

use the term “violet crown” in their name. Lastly, Austin is known as a “clean air city” for the city’s stringent no-smoking ordinances that apply to all public places and buildings, and all restaurants.





Ever wonder why Austin is known as the Live Music Capital of the World? The slogan became official in 1991, after it was discovered that Austin had more live music venues per capita than anywhere else in the nation. Today, Austin, TX hosts nearly 200 venues and is home to thousands of musicians. Which means you can catch a show any day of the week, at almost any time. Austin is world-renowned as a music destination. Musicians have been calling Austin home and entertaining fans for generations. From Janis Joplin to Ghostland Observatory, the music of Austin has spread around the world.






AUSTIN CITY LIMITS The Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL Festival) is an annual three-day American music festival that takes place in Austin, Texas at the city’s central public park, Zilker Park. Each year, in addition to food & art, most from local vendors, ACL Festival brings together more than 130 acts from all over the world to play rock, indie, country, folk, electronic and more on eight stages. Over 70,000 fans attend the festival each day. Named after the legendary PBS concert series, the Festival is produced by Austin-based C3 Presents, who also produce Lollapalooza.

ACL Festival celebrated its 10th Anniversary on September 16–18, 2011. The historic Austin City Limits television series focused for many years on Texas singer/ songwriters, country and folk performers, and instrument specialists. That is changing as the award-winning television series now resembles the Festival lineup and spotlights artists of every musical genre from rhythm and blues to rock, jazz, and alternative.



SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST South by Southwest is an Austin, Texas based company dedicated to planning conferences, trade shows, festivals and other events. Their current roster of annual events include: SXSW Music, SXSW Film, SXSW Interactive, SXSWedu, and SXSWeco and take place every spring (usually in March) in Austin, Texas, United States with the exception of SXSWeco which takes place in October. SXSW first began in 1987 and is centered on the downtown Austin Convention Center. Each of the three parts runs relatively independently, with different start and end dates. In 2011, the conference

lasted for ten days, with interactive lasting for five, music for six, and film lasting the longest at nine days. SXSW Music is one of the largest music festivals in the United States, with more than 2,000 performers playing in more than 90 venues around downtown Austin over four days, in March. SXSW Music offers artist-provided music and video samples of featured artists at each festival via their official YouTube channel.


SXSW Film has become one of the world’s premier film festivals,[citation needed] focusing on new directing talent. Similarly, SXSW Interactive has attracted a strong following among web creators and entrepreneurs. Its focus on emerging technology has earned the festival a reputation as a breeding ground for new ideas and creative technologies. According to festival co-organizer Louis Black, SXSW Interactive “has probably been the biggest of its kind in the world� since 2007. The music event has grown from 700 regis-

trants in 1987 to nearly 12,000 registrants. SXSW Film and SXSW Interactive events have grown every year, most recently bringing around 15,000 to 20,000 registrants to Austin every March. Collectively, SXSW is the highest revenueproducing special event for the Austin economy, with an estimated economic impact of $167 million in 2011.


STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN MEMORIAL “Stevie Ray” Vaughan (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990) was an American electric blues guitarist and singer. He was the younger brother of Jimmie Vaughan and frontman for Double Trouble, a band that included bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton. Born in Dallas, Vaughan moved to Austin at the age of 17 and began his music career. Later, producer John H. Hammond arranged a deal with Epic Records in 1983. Alcohol and drug abuse severely affected his health before he became sober in late 1986. After three years without a new album, he returned

to the studio, releasing In Step. The album produced the single “Crossfire” in July 1989, which became a number one hit on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. On August 26, 1990, Vaughan performed at Alpine Valley Music Theatre as part of his In Step Tour in a triple bill along with Eric Clapton and Robert Cray before an audience of approximately 25,000. Leaving the concert that evening, his helicopter crashed into a nearby ski slope. He was pronounced dead hours later. Vaughan was an important figure in Texas blues, a loud, swing-driven fusion of blues and

rock. He became the leading musician of the blues rock sound, with multiple network television appearances and charting albums. His debut Texas Flood, released in June 1983, became a doubleplatinum record. Vaughan encompassed multiple styles, including jazz and ballads. Nominated for 12 Grammys, he won six and was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2000. He is widely considered one of the most respected and influential guitarists of all time. In 1991, Texas governor Ann Richards proclaimed October 3, Vaughan’s birthday, to

be “Stevie Ray Vaughan Day”. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation currently produces the Stevie Ray Vaughan Signature Stratocaster, which Vaughan helped design. Fender also released a limited edition replica of “Number One”. The city of Austin erected the Stevie Ray Vaughan Memorial Statue at Auditorium Shores on Lady Bird Lake, the site of a number of his concerts. It has become one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. In November 2007, Fender released a second tribute to Vaughan, an exact replica of his second beloved guitar, “Lenny”.



WATERLOO RECORDS Waterloo Records is an independent retailer in Austin, Texas that has been an integral part of the city’s music scene since 1982. The store derives its name from the original name of the Austin region, Waterloo. The store’s original location was at 221 South Lamar Boulevard, just south of Lady Bird Lake. Waterloo Records later outgrew that 1,200 sq ft (110 m2). space and moved 2/3-mile north on Lamar to their present location at 600A North Lamar. Waterloo Records is noted for its knowledgeable staff and an emphasis on customer service. The store prides itself on “catering to the music

consumer” and features a ten-day return policy for goods in new condition. Waterloo regularly hosts events featuring live performances by both local and nationally-known artists. It has been awarded “Best Record Store” in the Austin Chronicle’s Best of Austin awards nearly every year since it opened. In addition to local acclaim, Waterloo Records is often listed alongside similarly iconic music stores (such as Amoeba Music) as one of the best record stores in the United States.



WILLIE NELSON Willie Hugh Nelson (born April 30, 1933) is an American country music singer-songwriter, as well as an author, poet, actor, and activist. The critical success of the album Shotgun Willie (1973), combined with the critical and commercial success of Red Headed Stranger (1975) and Stardust (1978), made Nelson one of the most recognized artists in country music. He was one of the main figures of outlaw country, a subgenre of country music that developed at the end of the 1960s as a reaction to the conservative restrictions of the Nashville sound. Nelson has acted in over 30 films, co-authored

several books, and has been involved in activism for the use of biofuels and the legalization of marijuana. Born during the Great Depression, and raised by his grandparents, Nelson wrote his first song at age seven and joined his first band at ten. During high school, he toured locally with the Bohemian Polka as their lead singer and guitar player. After graduating from high school in 1950, he joined the Air Force but was later discharged due to back problems. After his return, Nelson attended Baylor University for two years but dropped out because he was succeeding in music.

70 During this time, he worked as a disc jockey in Texas radio stations and a singer in honky tonks. Nelson moved to Vancouver, Washington, where he wrote “Family Bible” and recorded the song “Lumberjack” in 1956. In 1960, he signed a publishing contract with Pamper Music which allowed him to join Ray Price’s band as a bassist. During that time, he wrote songs that would become country standards, including “Funny How Time Slips Away”, “Hello Walls”, “Pretty Paper”, and “Crazy”. In 1962, he recorded his first album, And Then I Wrote. Due to this success, Nelson signed in 1964 with RCA Victor and joined the Grand Ole Opry the following year. After mid-chart hits during the end of 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s, and the failure to succeed in music, Nelson retired in 1972 and moved to Austin, Texas. The rise of the popularity of Hippie music in Austin motivated Nelson to return from retirement, performing frequently at the Armadillo World Headquarters. In 1973, after signing with Atlantic Records, Nelson turned to outlaw country, including albums

71 such as Shotgun Willie and Phases and Stages. In 1975, he switched to Columbia Records, where he recorded the critically acclaimed album, Red Headed Stranger. The same year, he recorded another outlaw country album, Wanted! The Outlaws, which he recorded with Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser. During the mid 1980s, while creating hit albums like Honeysuckle Rose and recording hit songs like “On the Road Again”, “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before”, and “Pancho & Lefty”, he joined the country supergroup The Highwaymen, along with fellow singers, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson. During 1990 Nelson’s assets were seized by the Internal Revenue Service, that claimed that he owed US $32,000,000. It was later discovered that his accountants, Price Waterhouse did not pay Nelson’s taxes for years. The impossibility of Nelson to pay his outstanding debt was aggravated by weak investments made by him during the 1980s. Nelson released in 1991 The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories?, the profits of the double album,

destined to the IRS and the auction of Nelson’s assets cleared his debt by 1993. During the 1990s and 2000s, Nelson continued touring extensively, and released albums every year. Reviews ranged from positive to mixed. Nelson explored genres such as reggae, blues, jazz, and folk. Nelson made his first movie appearance in the 1979 film, The Electric Horseman, followed by other appearances in movies and on television. Nelson is a major liberal activist and the cochair of the advisory board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, which is in favor of marijuana legalization. On the environmental front, Nelson owns the bio-diesel brand Willie Nelson Biodiesel, which is made from vegetable oil. Nelson is also the honorary chairman of the Advisory Board of the Texas Music Project, the official music charity of the state of Texas.




Our artistic side is alive and well in Austin. In fact, it surrounds us. We are a creative community filled with designers, painters, sculptors, dancers, filmmakers, musicians . . . artists of all kinds. And the places to admire Austin art are just as varied: The nation’s largest university-owned collection is exhibited at the Blanton Museum. View up-and-coming talent in our more intimate gallery settings. And for an up-close look at local artists, take our East Austin Studio Tour. You may just be inspired.







AUSTIN MUSEUM OF ART The Austin Museum of Art (AMOA) is Austin, Texas’s primary community art museum, since it was established in 1961 as Laguna Gloria Art Museum. The museums roots date to 1943, when Clara Driscoll donated her 1916 lakeside estate in west Austin to be used “as a museum to bring pleasure in the appreciation of art to the people of Texas. AMOA-Downtown in Downtown Austin offers exhibitions and seminars that the museum claims are oriented towards the interests of a broad general audience. The gallery serves as the Museum’s primary exhibition site and presents four

to six exhibitions a year, as well as continuallychanging education programs that focus on twentieth-century and contemporary art. AMOA-Downtown organizes its own exhibitions and presents traveling exhibitions that feature painting, photography, video, and sculpture. The Museum also presents a variety of interdisciplinary and hands-on public education programs for schoolchildren, families, and adults. A goal of AMOA-Downtown is to emphasize connections between the visual arts and other art forms and contemporary life. Opportunities to


respond to the exhibition include accompanying talks, performances, guided tours, film series, hands-on community activities, and the FamilyLab which was launched in 2006 as a place for families to create art together. AMOA-Downtown also features the Community Room, a place for activities, and private functions with gallery access.


BLANTON MUSEUM OF ART The Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin, housed in a recently completed two building complex, is one of the foremost university art museums in the country. The museum’s collection is the largest and most comprehensive in Central Texas and comprises more than 18,000 works. It is recognized for its European paintings, modern and contemporary American and Latin American art and an encyclopedic collection of prints and drawings.

The Blanton was established in 1963 as the University Art Museum. The museum’s collections were originally displayed and stored in the Art Building, until 1972 when the permanent collection moved to gallery spaces in the Harry Ransom Center (then called the Humanities Research Center). In 1980, the museum was renamed the Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery.



BOB BULLOCK MUSEUM The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin, Texas, tells the “Story of Texas” with three floors of interactive exhibits, the special effects show, The Star of Destiny, in the Texas Spirit Theater, and Austin’s only IMAX Theatre, featuring the signature large-format film, Texas: The Big Picture. A 35-foot-tall bronze Lone Star sculpture greets visitors in front of the Museum, and a colorful terrazzo floor in the Museum’s rotunda features a campfire scene with enduring themes from Texas’ past. The Museum also has a Cafe with indoor and outdoor seating and a Museum

Store with something for the Texan in everyone. The driving force behind the creation of the Texas State History Museum was former Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock. The Museum is a division of the State Preservation Board. The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum mission is to engage the broadest possible audience to interpret the continually unfolding Story of Texas through meaningful educational experiences.



EAST AUSTIN STUDIO TOUR The East Austin Studio Tour lasts just two weeks, but artists and other area businesses say they benefit from the event all year long. The tour, featuring almost 400 local artists displaying their work at about 60 venues scattered across the city’s east side, wraps up Sunday. Shea Little, an artist based out of the Big Medium complex at 5305 Bolm Road, helped found the event nine years ago. He said it gives painters, sculptors, woodworkers and other artists valuable exposure. “This is an opportunity for them to get

themselves out there,” he said. “It’s great to have people keeping track of you and your work, helping spread the word virally.” That exposure, Little said, frequently translates into sales long after the tour has ended. Artists aren’t the only ones benefiting from the tour. Several nearby businesses have extended their hours to accommodate the influx of visitors, including the East Side Show Room bar and restaurant at 1100 E. Sixth St.



HARRY RANSOM CENTER The Harry Ransom Center is a library and archive at the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in the collection of literary and cultural artifacts from the United States and Europe. The Ransom Center houses 36 million literary manuscripts, 1 million rare books, 5 million photographs, and more than 100,000 works of art. The Center has a reading room for scholars and galleries which display rotating exhibitions of works and objects from the collections. The two most prominent possessions in the Ransom Center’s collections are a Gutenberg Bible

(one of only 21 complete copies known to exist) and Nicéphore Niépce’s View from the Window at Le Gras, the first successful permanent photograph from nature. Both of these objects are on permanent display in the main lobby.


MEXICARTE Mexic-Arte Museum is a fine arts museum in Austin, Texas founded in 1983 by Sylvia Orozco of Cuero, Texas and Pio Pulido of Mexico. The Museum was begun to educate and promote traditional and contemporary Mexican and Latino art throughout the state of Texas by providing cultural programs. Mexic-Arte obtained its non-profit status during the 1984 season and continues to present multimedia works by established and emerging artists from the United States, Mexico and Latin America. Since its founding in 1984, Mexic-Arte

Museum has emerged as the official Mexican and Mexican-American fine art Museum of Texas. To expand its programs and exhibits, Mexic-Arte Museum moved into its current downtown Austin home at 419 Congress Avenue in 1988. In 1997, the Museum opened its back gallery for a series titled The Diversity and Emergence Series. The series provides exhibition space for new talent not seen in Austin and supports and presents new and experimental artwork by providing an open environment for the development of artists. The program is open to artists whose work

86 deals with historical, social, literary and/or personal experiences and interpretations regarding Latin America. The Mexic-Arte Museum contributes to cultural enrichment and improves the quality of life in Texas through exhibitions and educational programming. A total of 75,000 visitors, ranging from enthusiastic children to art connoisseurs, tour the Museum each year. Mexic-Arte Museum’s main gallery exhibits traveling and curated exhibitions of traditional and contemporary art from Mexico and other Latin American countries as well as national, local and regional Chicano and Latino artists. Many shows in the main gallery are curated by founder Sylvia Orozco who is still in position as the organization’s Executive Director.



This is a List of National Historic Landmarks in Texas and other landmarks of equivalent landmark status in the state. The United States’ National Historic Landmark (NHL) program is operated under the auspices of the National Park Service, and recognizes structures, districts, objects, and similar resources according to a list of criteria of national significance. There are 46 NHLs in Texas.






TEXAS STATE CAPITOL The Texas State Capitol is located in Austin, Texas, and is the fourth building to be the house of Texas government in Austin. It houses the chambers of the Texas Legislature and the office of the governor of Texas. It was originally designed in 1881 by architect Elijah E. Myers, and was constructed from 1882–88 under the direction of civil engineer Reuben Lindsay Walker. A $75 million underground extension was completed in 1993. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1986. The Texas

State Capitol building is 308 ft (94 m) tall. The capitol rotunda features portraits of every person who has served as president of the Republic of Texas or governor of the State of Texas. The south foyer features sculptures of Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin made by Elisabeth Ney. The rotunda is also a whispering gallery. The Texas State Capitol was ranked ninetysecond in the “America’s Favorite Architecture” poll commissioned by the American Institute of Architects, that ranked the top hundred-and-fifty favorite architectural projects in America as of ‘07.



SIXTH STREET Likely Texas’ best known street, the seven block’s of 6th Street between Congress and IH 35 are certainly Austin’s entertainment center. With a little help from it’s many like-minded sister streets, 6th Street is the heart of Austin’s live entertainment scene and the capital of third coast music. Sixth Street (formerly known as Pecan Street) is lined with many historical houses and commercial buildings dating from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The storied old buildings now house numerous bars, a host of live entertainment venues, tattoo parlors, art galleries, casual cafes,

upscale restaurants, and the elegant Driskill Hotel. Live music of every genre abounds. From jazz, blues, and country to rock, hip-hop, beat, progressive, metal, punk and derivations of these, there’s something to whet everyone’s musical pallete. Great food is a staple on Sixth Street, featuring such regional staples as chili, ribs, and Tex-Mex plus steak, seafood, cajun-cooking, and deli.


Sixth Street draws an eclectic bunch including endless streams of mostly single UT students, the YUP’s, the burb’s, some interesting street folk,and lot’s of out of town visitors. It’s not uncommon to spy some celebrity type taking in the sights on 6th. From film folk to politicians, to music men and women, Sixth Street rubs elbows well. Dress code, yeah right. You’ll see cowboys and punks, surfers and suits. On Halloween anything goes, and during Mardi Gras, everything goes! Going West from the entertainment area, West Sixth Street offers another suprise with antique

stores, art galleries, hair salons, restaurants, and lot’s of eclectic shops. Sixth Street is Austin’s entertainment showpiece, and deservedly so. Great events like the Austin Mardi Gras celebration, SXSW, The Republic of Texas Bikers Rally, the Pecan Street Festival and Sixth’s Street infamous Haloween celebration all make for great times with great people.


SOUTH CONGRESS BATS Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge is home to the world’s largest urban bat colony, which is composed of Mexican Free-tailed Bats. The bats reside beneath the road deck in gaps between the concrete component structures. They are migratory, spending their summers in Austin and the winters in Mexico. According to Bat Conservation International, between 750,000 and 1.5 million bats reside underneath the bridge each summer. Since Austin’s human population is about 750,000, there are more bats than people in Austin during the summer.

The nightly emergence of the bats from underneath the bridge at dusk, and their flight across Lady Bird Lake primarily to the east, to feed themselves, attracts as many as 100,000 tourists annually. Tourists can see the bats from the bridge, from the sides of the river and even from special boats.



LBJ LIBRARY & MUSEUM The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum is one of 13 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The library houses 45 million pages of historical documents, including the papers of Lyndon Baines Johnson and those of his close associates and others. The library was dedicated on May 22, 1971, with Johnson and then-President Richard Nixon in attendance. The current director is presidential historian Mark K. Updegrove. The library, adjacent to the LBJ School of Public Affairs, occupies a 14 acre (57,000 m²)

campus that is federally run and independent from The University of Texas at Austin. The top floor of the library has a 7/8ths scale replica of the Oval Office decorated as it was during Johnson’s presidency. The museum provides year-round public viewing of its permanent historical and cultural exhibits and its many traveling exhibits. The library is the only presidential library not to charge admission, and has the highest visitation of any presidential library (with the exception of the first two or three years of any new presidential library, which in some cases sees more visitors).


DRISKILL HOTEL The Driskill Hotel was built in 1886 as the showplace of cattle baron Jesse Driskill, The Driskill remains a landmark of Texas hospitality. As a member of The Historic Hotels of America and Associated Luxury Hotels International, The Driskill offers an elite level of luxury and service to rank as one the world’s finest hotels. Located in downtown Austin, the legendary, historic hotel is convenient to all the city has to offer, including the Texas State Capitol, Austin Convention Center, opera, symphony, fine dining, shopping, and Austin’s 6th Street music scene.

Known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin is home to almost 200 music venues, many within walking distance of The Driskill. The acclaimed Driskill Grill serves New American cuisine, while the Texas-themed bar features a fireplace and live piano music.



TEXAS STATE CEMETARY The Texas State Cemetery is just blocks east of the State Capitol, the Cemetery is the final resting place of Governors, Senators, Legislators, Congressmen, Judges and other legendary Texans who have made the state what it is today. Efforts to establish the Texas State Cemetery began in 1851, with the death of General Edward Burleson. Burleson served with Sam Houston in the Battle of San Jacinto and as Vice President of the Republic of Texas. Throughout the years other notable Texans have been buried on Cemetery grounds including: Stephen F. Austin, General Albert Sidney Johnston,

Governor Allan Shivers, Governor John Connally, and Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock. Since 1851, the Texas State Cemetery has witnessed many changes. The most significant being, when Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock initiated an extensive restoration project from 1994 to 1997. Another change made was the establishment of a three-member Texas State Cemetery Committee, which was appointed by Governor George W. Bush. Their goal is for the Cemetery to serve as a tribute to the many people who have made Texas famous throughout the world.



DKR-TEXAS MEMORIAL STADIUM Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (formerly War Memorial Stadium, Memorial Stadium, and Texas Memorial Stadium), located in Austin, Texas, has been home to the University of Texas Longhorns football team since 1924. The stadium has delivered a great home field advantage with the team’s home record through the 2011 season being 348-98-10 (77.8%). The current official stadium seating capacity of 100,119 makes the stadium the largest football-only venue by seating capacity in the state of Texas, the largest in the Big 12 Conference, the sixth largest stadium

in the NCAA and the United States, and the ninth largest non-racing stadium in the world. The DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium attendance record of 101,624 spectators was set on September 3, 2011, when Texas defeated Rice University, 34-9. The stadium has been expanded several times since its original opening. The University’s most recent project, a $27 million expansion and renovation project to the south end zone facilities, was completed in August 2009.



GOVERNOR’S MANSION The Texas Governor’s Mansion, also known simply as Governor’s Mansion is a historic home for the Governor of Texas in downtown Austin, Texas. It was built during 1854, designed by prominent architect Abner Cook, and has been the home of every governor since 1856. On June 8, 2006, while midway through a major renovation, the mansion was damaged badly by an arson fire started with a Molotov cocktail. The mansion is the oldest continuously inhabited house in Texas and fourth oldest governor’s mansion in the United States that has

been continuously occupied by a chief executive. The mansion was the first-designated Texas historic landmark, during 1962.[3] It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places as “Governor’s Mansion” during 1970, and further was declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark during 1974.


THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS TOWER The 307-foot tall UT Austin Tower, designed by Paul Cret of Philadelphia, was completed in 1937. Through the years, the Tower has served as the University’s most distinguishing landmark and as a symbol of academic excellence and personal opportunity. The observation deck of the UT Tower offers a spectacular view of the UT Campus and the Austin area in all directions. Thanks to the cooperative effort of students, staff, and the University administration, the observation deck has recently been remodeled and reopened to the public

for the first time in nearly three decades. As a part of the renovation process, persons with disabilities now also have access to this monumental view. Tower Lighting: 1) Tower entirely white Standard Tower lighting 2) Tower with orange top and white shaft: Football regular season victories, except Texas A&M, Football bowl game victories other than national championship.

106 3) Tower entirely orange: Faculty academic achievements (Academic Convocation), Student academic achievements (Honors Day), Staff achievements (Staff Recognition Day), Academic team achievements with #1 displayed, UT’s birthday — Sept. 15, Commencement, Texas Independence Day — March 2, Football victory against Texas A&M University, Big 12 Athletics Championship — all sports, Student organization sports club national championships. 4) Tower entirely orange with #1 displayed: National Champions. 5) Darkened Tower w/white cap & observation deck: UT Remembers (annual memorial service), Tower Garden dedication, Significant solemn occasions (e.g. Texas A&M Bonfire tragedy). 6) Tower orange with special effects such as numbers, fireworks: Commencement.


THE DRAG The Drag is a nickname for a portion of Guadalupe Street that runs along the western edge of the University of Texas campus in Austin, Texas. The Drag began as a strip of shops which provided vital resources to UT students. Bookstores, restaurants, and clothing stores fulfilled student needs. The proximity to campus, particularly the Main Building and the Union Building, added to the popularity of the street. At the start of each semester The Drag fills with students purchasing text books and school supplies. Past and present buildings on the Drag

include the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, Raul’s, Captain Quackenbush’s Intergalactic Expresso & Dessert Company, Tower Records, The Bazaar, Texadelphia, Dobie Mall, and the University Baptist Church. The Drag is considered an important part of Austin’s civic life, but in recent years many Austinites avoided it because of congestion. The area had fallen into disrepair, and some felt the area had become undesirable because of the presence of young panhandlers known as “Dragworms”, or more recently as “Dragrats.”




A big part of Austin’s culture? The great outdoors. With Hill Country vistas outside the city and Lady Bird Lake in the center of town, we come out to play as often as possible. And we think you will, too. Austin has miles of hike and bike trails, more than 200 parks and around 300 days of sunshine each year. We’re host to the Austin Marathon & Half Marathon, with more than 11,000 participating runners from around the country. And Austin was recently named the nation’s No. 1 golf destination by



MOUNT BONNELL Mount Bonnell is more of a tourist spot than a hiking destination. Nevertheless it does provide a short trail to go along with the spectacular views that draw so many people there. The trail begins at the stairs leading up to the summit of Mount Bonnell, marked by the waypoint “Trailhead” on the topo map. Mount Bonnell is generally considered the highest point in Austin at 775 feet, a fact which may or may not be true in the future as Austin expands in all directions. The peak is named for George Bonnell, who served as Commissioner of Indian

Affairs for the Texas Republic. He first moved to Austin in 1839. Known universally as Mount Bonnell, the peak actually resides in Covert Park, a name with which few Austinites would identify. The park is named in honor of the person who provided the land on which it sits, Frank M. Covert Sr. The park was transferred to the City of Austin in 1939, exactly 100 years after the arrival in Austin of the man who provides the name for the park’s peak.



ZILKER PARK Zilker Metropolitan Park is a recreational area in the heart of south Austin (near Barton Springs Pool and Lady Bird Lake) that comprises over 350 acres of publicly owned land. It is named after its benefactor Andrew Jackson Zilker, who donated the land to the city in 1917. It was developed into the park during the Great Depression in the 1930s. The park serves as a hub for many recreational activities and the hike and bike trail around Lady Bird Lake, both of which run next to the park. The park was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on 1997.

The large size of the park makes it a capable venue for large scale events such as the Austin City Limits Music Festival and the Zilker Park Kite Festival. Attractions within the park include: Barton Springs pool Zilker Botanical Garden Events: Zilker Gardens Festival Ballet in the Park Freedom Festival and Fireworks Zilker Park Fall Jazz Festival



WILD BASIN WILDERNESS PRESERVE Initially protected in the late 1970s in response to increasing development and habitat decline in west Austin, Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve continues as a legacy for urban wilderness and environmental education in Texas. Wild Basin has served as a constituent of the larger Balcones Canyonlands Preserve (BCP) system since its inception in 1996, promoting the protection of eight endangered species, as well as 27 species of concern. Existing as one of few public preserves prior to the founding of the BCP, Wild Basin’s threemiles of trails remain open to the public, sun-up

to sun-down every day of the year. We ask that you respect the natural beauty of this hill-country landscape by staying ‘on-trail’ and leaving ‘notrace’ during your visit. Furthermore, bikes, pets, smoking and picnics are all prohibited within the preserve boundaries. The Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, in its role as an interdisciplinary laboratory of St. Edward’s University, exists to protect and maintain its urban wilderness, and to promote the importance of environmental education, research, conservation and preservation.


HIPPIE HOLLOW PARK Hippie Hollow Park (originally known as McGregor County Park) is a park located on the shore of Lake Travis in northwest Austin 30.413°N 97.882°W. It is the only legally recognized clothingoptional public park in the State of Texas.[1] Though the land is owned by the Lower Colorado River Authority, it is leased to Travis County, whose Parks Department has administered the park since 1985. Sometimes erroneously labeled as a beach, the park actually sits on a somewhat steep slope above Lake Travis with limestone steps that can be quite rugged in some spots. Depending on the water

level of the lake, access to the water may require some rock climbing. The park has an area of 119 acres (41 hectares) and receives approximately 153,000 visitors annually. Austin’s gay and lesbian community sponsors Splash Day on the first Sundays of May and September every year, drawing large crowds of visitors which have occasionally exceeded park capacity. These high-publicity events have given the park the reputation as being popular with gay sunbathers.




A big part of Austin’s culture? The great outdoors. With Hill Country vistas outside the city and Lady Bird Lake in the center of town, we come out to play as often as possible. And we think you will, too. Austin has miles of hike and bike trails, more than 200 parks and around 300 days of sunshine each year. We’re host to the Austin Marathon & Half Marathon, with more than 11,000 participating runners from around the country. And Austin was recently named the nation’s No. 1 golf destination by




BARTON CREEK Barton Creek is a tributary that feeds the Colorado River as it flows through the Texas Hill Country. The creek passes through some of the more scenic areas in Greater Austin and forms a greenbelt that is the habitat for many indigenous species of flora and fauna, including at least seven endangered species of plants. The creek begins in northern Hays County and flows 40 miles (64 km) east through Austin to Lady Bird Lake (formerly Town Lake), where it merges with the Colorado River. The creek falls into the fissure of the Edwards Aquifer in

southwest Austin and reemerges at Barton Springs. During rainy seasons, upper Barton Creek hosts water recreation including kayaking, tubing, and swimming. The Lower Barton Creek Greenbelt features these water sports year-round with swimming in Barton Springs Pool, and kayaking and caneoing in the creek fed with the discharge from the springs.


BARTON SPRINGS Barton Springs is a set of four natural water springs located on the grounds of Zilker Park[2] in Austin, Texas resulting from water flowing through the Edwards Aquifer. The largest spring, Main Barton Spring (also known as Parthenia, “the mother spring�) supplies water to Barton Springs Pool, a popular recreational destination in Austin. The smaller springs are located nearby, two with man-made structures built to contain and direct their flow. The springs are the only known habitat of the Barton Springs Salamander, an endangered species.

All water discharging from Barton Springs originates as rainfall. Some of this rain falls directly onto the area of land where the aquifer limestone rock is exposed, which is known as the recharge zone. Other rainfall enters into creeks that cross the recharge zone, and infiltrates the limestone bedrock. After water enters the aquifer, it flows along the gradients created by differences in hydraulic pressure into the area of lowest hydraulic pressure. This lowest point of hydraulic pressure is Barton Springs.



DEEP EDDY POOL Deep Eddy Pool is a historic, man-made swimming pool in Austin, Texas. Deep Eddy is the oldest swimming pool in Texas and features a bathhouse built during the Depression era by the Works Progress Administration. The pool began as a swimming hole in the Colorado River, became a resort in the 1920s, and is today a popular swimming pool operated by the City of Austin. Deep Eddy Pool is popular with adult recreational swimmers for its lap swimming pool and with children for its large wading pool. The pool is fed with clear, cold water from a hand-dug 35-

foot well, and is not chlorinated. Water temperature varies between 65 to 75 째F. The lap swimming pool is generally open during daylight hours all year, though hours are shortened during winter months. In summer months, the pool sponsors Splash Party Movie Nights, showing family films on a screen visible by swimmers and waders. The pool supports a number of sporting events, including the Deep Eddy Mile swimming competition. The pool area also contains the offices for the City of Austin Aquatics Department, and the pool is used to train incoming City of Austin lifeguards.



LAKE TRAVIS Lake Travis is a reservoir on the Colorado River in central Texas in the United States. The reservoir was formed in 1942 by the construction of Mansfield Dam on the western edge of Austin, Texas by the Lower Colorado River Authority. Lake Travis has the largest storage capacity of the seven reservoirs known as the Highland Lakes, and stretches 65 miles (105 km) upriver from western Travis County in a highly serpentine course into southern Burnet County to Max Starcke Dam, southwest of the town of Marble Falls. The Pedernales River, a major tributary of the Colorado

River, flows into the lake from the southwest in western Travis County. The lake is used for flood control, water supply, electrical power generation and recreation. Lake Travis is generally considered one of the clearest lakes in Texas. It is a vital water supply for the nearby city of Austin, Texas and the surrounding metropolitan area.



LADY BIRD LAKE Lady Bird Lake (formerly Town Lake) is a reservoir on the Colorado River in downtown Austin, Texas, in the United States. It was created in 1960 by the construction of Longhorn Dam and is owned and operated by the City of Austin and the Lower Colorado River Authority. The surface area of the lake is 416 acres, and it is used primarily for flood control and recreation. Located on the lake’s shoreline are various hotels and apartments, as well as the Auditorium Shores park and the Austin Hike and Bike Trail. Lady Bird Lake is a major recreation area

for the city of Austin. Its banks are bounded by the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail, and businesses offer recreational watercraft services along the lakefront portion of the trails. Austin’s largest downtown park, Zilker Park, is adjacent to the lake, and Barton Springs, a major attraction for swimmers, flows into the lake. Much of the landscaped beauty of the parks surrounding Lady Bird Lake can be credited to the former First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, who, in the 1970s, focused her attention on the Town Lake Beautification Project.




Researchers at Central Connecticut State University ranked Austin the 16th most literate city in the United States for 2008. Austin was voted “America’s No.1 College Town” by the Travel Channel. Over 43% of Austin residents age 25 and over hold a bachelor’s degree, while 16% hold a graduate degree. As of 2009, greater Austin ranks eighth among metropolitan areas in the United States for bachelor’s degree attainment with nearly 39% of area residents over 25 holding a bachelor’s degree.






UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS The University of Texas at Austin (informally University of Texas, or simply UT) is a state research university located in Austin, Texas, USA, and is the flagship institution of the The University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, its campus is located approximately 0.25 miles (400 m) from the Texas State Capitol in Austin. The institution has the fifth-largest single-campus enrollment in the nation as of fall 2010 (and had the largest enrollment in the country from 1997 to 2003), with over 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students and 16,500 faculty and staff. It

currently holds the largest enrollment of all colleges in the state of Texas. UT student athletes compete as the Texas Longhorns and are members of the Big 12 Conference. The university has won four NCAA Division I National Football Championships, and has claimed more titles in men’s and women’s sports than any other school in the Big 12 since the league was founded in 1996. The university was recognized by Sports Illustrated as “America’s Best Sports College” in 2002.


ST. EDWARD’S UNIVERSITY The University of Texas at Austin (informally University of Texas, or simply UT) is a state research university located in Austin, Texas, USA, and is the flagship institution of the The University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, its campus is located approximately 0.25 miles (400 m) from the Texas State Capitol in Austin. The institution has the fifth-largest single-campus enrollment in the nation as of fall 2010 (and had the largest enrollment in the country from 1997 to 2003), with over 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students and 16,500 faculty and staff. It

currently holds the largest enrollment of all colleges in the state of Texas. UT student athletes compete as the Texas Longhorns and are members of the Big 12 Conference. The university has won four NCAA Division I National Football Championships, and has claimed more titles in men’s and women’s sports than any other school in the Big 12 since the league was founded in 1996. The university was recognized by Sports Illustrated as “America’s Best Sports College” in 2002.



HUSTON-TILLOTSON UNIVERSITY Huston–Tillotson University is a historically black university in Austin, Texas, United States. The school is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, and the United Negro College Fund. Huston–Tillotson University awards fouryear degrees in business, education, the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, science and technology. The University also offers alternative teacher certification and academic programs for undergraduates interested in pursuing post-graduate degrees in Law and Medicine.

A multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multifaith institution, the University welcomes students of all ages, races, and religions. The history of Huston - Tillotson University lies in two schools: Tillotson College and Samuel Huston College. HTU’s campus is located at the site of the former Tillotson College on a land feature formerly known to local residents as Bluebonnet Hill. The 24-acre campus is located in East Austin, between 7th and 11th streets near I-35 and downtown Austin.



CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY Concordia University Texas is a private, coeducational institution of liberal arts and sciences located in northwest Austin. The university offers undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as an Accelerated Degree Program for part-time students and adult returning students at satellite campuses in San Antonio, Houston, and Fort Worth. Concordia University Texas is under the auspices of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and is a member of the Concordia University System, the ten-member association of LCMS colleges and universities enrolling a total of 22,000

students nationwide. As a Lutheran university, Concordia’s stated[citation needed] mission is to develop Christian leaders. In 2005, the Board of Regents approved the relocation of the Concordia University Texas campus. Since its founding the school has occupied a 23-acre (9.3 ha) campus near downtown Austin. The new campus is located in Northwest Austin on more than 380 acres (150 ha) of land. Construction began in the spring of 2007, and the new campus opened in September 2008.



AUSTIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE The Austin Community College District (ACC) is a regional community college district with eight campuses and 12 centers located in and around the city of Austin, Texas, United States. ACC is the second largest institution of higher learning in Central Texas with a service area that stretches over eight counties and 7,000 square miles (18,000 km2). As of Fall 2011, ACC has 4,500 faculty and staff, 45,100 credit students, 15,000 non-credit students, and offers over 235 associate degree and certificate programs.

“The ACC District promotes student success and improves communities by providing affordable access to higher education and workforce training in its eight-county service area.” ACC’s mission focuses on four specific areas characteristic of community colleges: General education and academic transfer Workforce education Foundation programs to get students college-ready Lifelong learning (Continuing Education)




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TEXT EXCERPTS The Image of the City: Kevin Lynch Exploring Austin:

PHOTO CREDIT Gaby Flores Dyan Canon Andrea Blanco





















East Side Book  

A book about all different aspects of Austin, TX.

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