09 Apr

Prominent upon a hill: The unlikely birth and growth of Austin

Austin in its beginnings: no place on Earth more unfortunate for the Seat of Government (Sam Houston), a new idea in the history of the world (Anonymous Houstonian), It reminds one somewhat of Washington; Washington en petit (Frederick Law Olmstead), and “bids fair to become one of the most refined and pleasant cities in the western world.” (Thomas Bell). From the Austin which inspired these early opinions to an Austin more recognizably our own, this exhibit explores the city’s first century through the maps of all kinds, from a small and isolated settlement on the frontier, to a city connected by road, rail, and bridges and adorned by a capitol and several universities.

Note: this exhibit is presented on our second floor gallery. For accessible viewing options, please do not hesitate to contact us or ask at our front desk.

's Mansion Sanborn 1877
HuntRandel1839Map
1928 Koch Plan plate 2 detail A