AustinRemembers… - Austin History Center Association
“Collective Memory of
Austin & Travis County”
CENTRAL LIBRARY IN MOTION
Journalists to Explore
When “Austin, Texas”
By Ann Dolce
Continued on Page 4
By Geoff Wool
When someone says “Dallas,” most
people know the city you’re referring to
and its geographic location in the world.
News coverage of the 1963 assassination
of President Kennedy, the success of the
city’s NFL franchise and exposure from a
number one-rated TV show bearing the
city’s name combined to help Dallas become a cultural reference and recognizable spot on the global map. When someone says, “Fort Worth,” unless you’re from
Texas, you’ll likely need more context to
get a correct sense of location.
In 1975, Austin still needed its “Texas”
surname to complete the frame of reference for people living outside the state.
Sure, it was the state capital and home to
the University of Texas, and in the 1960s it
was the outpost for White House journalists traveling with President Johnson, but
besides that, there wasn’t much national
or international news generated here. And
when there was news, it always carried
the dateline: “Austin, Texas.”
But sometime between then and now,
“Austin, Texas” became simply, “Austin.”
On Friday, January 31, 2014, veteran
television news anchor Ron Oliveira and
five journalists who covered Austin news
in the 1980s and 1990s will gather at the
historic Driskill Hotel to answer the question, When did “Austin, Texas” become
simply “Austin?” The panel is the centerpiece for the 2014 Angelina Eberly Luncheon, benefiting the Austin History Center Association. Drawing on their unique
perspective as eyewitnesses to history,
the panel of reporters Continued on Page 2
The first library temporary structure opened in 1926. Image
PICA 01437, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.
Grace Delano Clark volunteered as the first librarian. Image
PICB 01791, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.
On May 30, 2013, the Austin Public
Library—consisting of 20 branches, the
Faulk Central Library, the Austin History
Center, and Recycled Reads used book
store—launched construction of a new
central library at 710 W. Cesar Chavez
St., facing Austin’s Ladybird Lake and
nestled alongside Shoal Creek. The
New Central Library is set to open in
At that time, the Austin History Center will expand into the vacated space
at the Faulk Library. As the planning,
construction, and activity rushes forward, take a step backwards to explore
how the Austin Public Continued on Page 4
Editor’s Note: Golf Legends Replay the
Rounds at Stark By Beth Fowler
In the early 1970s, Ben Crenshaw superimposed
college classes with professional golf the way his fingers joined in the reverse overlap grip. While studying
at the University of Texas, he continued to ascend in
the world of competitive golf, successfully competing
on the amateur circuit, including a top-20 finish at The
Masters, then, turning pro. In 1973, he saw his photograph on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the headline “Make Way for the Kid.”
Now forty years later, the classic black and white
saddle golf shoe Crenshaw wore Continued on Page 7
L to R, Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw. Courtesy of the Tom Kite Collection; H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports.
Austin, Texas 78701
P. O. Box 2287
Austin, Texas 78768
The mission of the Austin History Center
Association is to help the community
value our past and build a better future by supporting the Austin History Center to
achieve excellence in its efforts to serve
as the collective memory of Austin and
Board of Directors
Evan Taniguchi, President
EBERLY from Page 1
will offer a behind-the-scenes look at developments that occurred in the last part of the
20th century, a time when Austin ascended in relevancy not only in the United States,
but across the globe.
“Each of these journalists has years of experience and interesting stories to tell about
how Austin has changed and how their profession has changed,” Oliveira said. “Plus,
these people tell stories for a living so I’m sure there will be more than a few laughs.”
Joining Oliveira on the panel will be Judy Maggio, who for the last 34 years has delivered news to Austin television viewers through her work at KVUE-TV and KEYE-TV.
Perennially voted “Best News Anchor in Austin” by readers of the
Austin Chronicle, Maggio also has been honored as Austin Communicator of the Year, Austin Toastmaster of the Year, and has received
numerous awards for excellence in journalism.
Ken Herman, currently a columnist for the Austin AmericanStatesman, will add his brand of quick-witted commentary to the
panel. Herman joined the Austin staff of the Associated Press in
1979 and covered the pageantry, personalities and politics of the
state capital until 2004, when he left Austin for Washington, D.C. to
cover the George W. Bush White House for the Associated Press.
Austin radio news will be represented on the panel by Monte Williams, who reported
from 1979 to 1983 for what was then KNOW-AM. During his time as a reporter, Williams
and his KNOW news team won awards from United Press International, the Associated Press and the Texas and National Association of Broadcasters. More recently, this
Robert Sullivan, First Vice President
Ken Tiemann, Second Vice President
Terrell Blodgett, Treasurer
Jena Stubbs, Secretary
Maria Ines Garcia, Member-at-Large
Ann Dolce, Immed. Past President
Directors at Large
Charles Betts / Cindy Brandimarte /
Liz Bremond / Linda Bush /
Lynn Cooksey / Beth Fowler /
Brooks Goldsmith / Becky Heiser /
Mary Ann Heller / Kathleen Davis
Niendorff / Charles Peveto / Patsy
Stephenson / Toni Thomasson /
Candace Volz / Anne Wheat /
Mike Miller, AHC Archivist
Austin History Center
Jeff Cohen, Executive Director
Allison Supancic, Office Manager
Becca Thompson, Accountant
Beth Fowler, Editor/Creative Director
Rebecca Jarosh, Layout
Geoff Wool, Public Relations
Anne Wheat, Photo Coordinator
Cathy Conley Swofford
longtime Austin writer was named by the Austin American-Statesman as one of the 25
funniest people in Austin.
Rounding out the panel will be long-time news anchor/reporter/producer Cathy Conley Swofford, who also reported for KNOW-AM as well as KEY 103 FM, KXAN-TV,
KVUE-TV, and KLRU-TV. Conley Swofford and her husband, former KTBC-TV anchor/
reporter David Swofford, co-own Conley Swofford Media, an Austin-based public relations firm.
Proceeds from the Angelina Eberly Luncheon go to the Austin History Center Association, supporter of the Austin History Center archives for Austin and Travis County.
“New Deal” Aided Bastrop Park
From Palo Duro Canyon in the Panhandle to Lake Corpus Christi, from Balmorhea
in far West Texas to Caddo Lake near the Louisiana border, the state parks of Texas
are home to not only breathtaking natural beauty, but also to historic buildings and
other structures produced by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the 1930s.
Texas State Parks and the CCC: The Legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps by
Cindy Brandimarte with Angela Reed mines archives from around the state to compile
a rich visual record of how this New Deal program left an indelible stamp on many of
the parks we still enjoy today.
Some fifty thousand men were enrolled in the CCC in Texas, and between
1933 and 1942, they constructed trails, cabins, concession buildings, bathhouses,
dance pavilions, a hotel, and a motor court. Before they arrived, the state’s parklands
consisted of fourteen parks on about 800 acres. By the end of World Continued on Page 7
From the Archivist: New Discoveries
from “How to Prepare a Possum” Exhibit
By Michael C. Miller, CA - Archivist
Image PICH 03455, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library. Hermann P. Becker, a German immigrant to Austin, opened this restaurant on East 6th in the 1880s,
the first of many business ventures. He left the restaurant business and started a highly successful lumberyard. He is pictured here standing at the far left.
By the time you are reading this, our latest exhibit “How
to Prepare a Possum: 19th Century Cuisine in Austin” will be
closed. I certainly hope you had a chance to come see it. If you
didn’t, we have a couple of ideas in the works that will recreate
the exhibit, to a degree, in print form. Stay tuned for more details.
While thinking about what to write here, I was thinking about this
exhibit and a couple of fun discoveries that came out of it.
The first discovery is related to the picture shown here of
Hermann Becker’s restaurant. A little backstory: Becker came to
Austin in the 1880s and worked a few jobs as he tried to establish himself here, including running his restaurant. He went on
to establish a successful lumberyard. He donated the land that
is now home to Becker Elementary School as well as the house
he used to rent to William Sydney Porter, aka O. Henry, that is
now the O. Henry Museum. This picture was used in the exhibit,
and the “discovery” came when descendants of Becker, who
were spending a few minutes here while waiting for the Faulk
library to open, noticed the picture and exclaimed, “I know that
man!” Members of the family ended up spending hours looking
through materials we have on the Becker family, and this chance
discovery of their family picture led them to reconnect with their
past. This encounter proved to be a not so subtle reminder of the
importance of archives and the work we do here at the AHC to
preserve our history.
The second discovery was internal. One of the artifacts we
displayed was a ledger book from the Harrell General Store,
one of the first grocery stores in Austin (in operation in the
1840s). When I pulled the ledger and started looking through
it, I noticed immediately that sometime in the 1880s, someone
started using this ledger as a scrapbook, a common 19th century practice when paper was scarce. As a scrapbook it contained the usual items: news clippings, poems, pictures from
magazines, and some crude but interesting pencil sketches of
animals. What was most interesting for the exhibit was the discovery of dozens of handwritten recipes of cakes, soups, meat
dishes, salads and just about any other food you could imagine
(but alas, no possum recipe). We don’t know who wrote the
recipes or created the scrapbook – there is no name associated with it – but it provided hours of enjoyment of reading the
recipes and imaging someone creating these dishes for their
family or for a house party.
There are literally millions more discoveries waiting to happen at the AHC. I hope you can pay us a visit sometime soon
and make one (or more) for yourself.
LIBRARY from Page 1
Detail from Image PICA 01114, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library. This picture shows the AHC block when it was
still zoned for churches. It was home to the 1) First Baptist Church (Negro), 2) African Methodist-Episcopal Church, and the 3)
Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church. In bottom right foreground, the open greenspace is Wooldridge Square Park.
Library came to be.
The north half of block 101 where the Austin History Center
sits today was originally designated for church uses, and three
churches and a school once stood on this lot. After the relocation of these churches in 1913, Mayor A. P. Wooldridge successfully petitioned the state legislature to re-designate the lot
for public library use. On November, 13, 1925, Grace Delano
Clark, a member of the Austin Chapter of the American Association of University Women, persuaded the organization
to take on the project of establishing a library for Austin and
the Austin Public Library Association was born. The chapter
members went house to house canvasing for book donations
and money for a building. The first library, a temporary structure, opened in 1926 at 409 W. 9th Street in an 1800 square
foot wooden frame building and housed 1,700 volumes. The
cost - $4,190. Mrs. Clark volunteered as the first librarian.
In 1928 the Austin voters approved $150,000 in bonds for
a permanent 36,000 square foot building at the site, and the
temporary building was moved to Angelina Street to become
Austin’s first public library branch, the Carver Branch.
Hugo Franz Kuehne, an Austin architect and a
founder of the school of architecture at the University of Texas, designed the first permanent home
of the Austin Public Library and construction began in 1932. Henry E. Wattinger was named
the general contractor with a bid of $106,638;
John L. Martin was the plumbing and heating
contractor ($58,747); and Fox-Schmidt completed the electrical work ($4,048).
The building took advantage of local materials and craftsmen. Cordova cream limestone
was used to achieve the Italian Renaissance Revival style of the building. Fortunat Weigl, a German
ironsmith who immigrated to Texas in 1913, created ornamental
wrought iron work to enhance the balconies, doors and windows.
Peter Mansbendel, a Swiss master woodcarver who came to
Texas in 1911, carved much of the interior woodwork. Harold
Everett “Bubi” Jessen (1908-1979), a local architect, and Peter
Allidi (1885-1948), also a Swiss immigrant who was a local artist and interior decorator, painted the frescoes on the ceiling of
the arched loggia on the north side of the building. Allidi had
previously completed the decoration in the architecture library
of Goldsmith Hall on the University of Texas Campus and Jessen was a student assistant on the project. (It is interesting to
note that Peter Allidi’s wife, Esther Mirel Allidi, was the creator
of Mrs. Allidi’s La Martinique salad dressing). Countless Austi-
Image PICA 28184, Austin History Center, Austin
Public Library. Early Austin Public Library (which
became the present Austin History Center) prior to
Faulk addition. Hugo Franz Kuehne, an Austin architect and a founder of the school of architecture at
the University of Texas, designed the first permanent
home of the Austin Public Library and construction
began in 1932. The Faulk addition is shown at right on
Courtesy Ann Dolce.
Clockwise from the top, Harold E. Jessen (1928 Cactus); Peter Mansbennites formed affectionate, personal bonds
del, Image PICB 05688; Weigl created Austin History Center ironwork,
with this landmark through their time spent
Image PICA 15253; and Fortunat Weigl, Image PICA 27358 (detail),
reading, imagining and exploring its graAustin History Center, Austin Public Library.
cious spaces. Mayor Lee Leffingwell stated
TV where he mixed his down-to-earth
in 2013 that next to the state capitol, this
humor with a strong support for intelTexas Historic Landmark “is the best,
the most significant building in the
When the Faulk Central Library
city of Austin.”
into its facility in 1979, the
As significant as the buildnewly
Austin History Center
ing is, by the 1970s the Central
began consoliLibrary had outgrown its space
so that the
and plans were once again
be renounderway for a new central livated
Austinbrary. One of the 13 sites recTravis
ommended by a selection comCIP bonds and grants from the Economic Development
mittee in 1975 was the south half
Administration, together with contributions from the Heriof block 101, next door to the existing
tage Society of Austin, the Junior League of Austin, and
library. This property met all the criteria from
local individuals, financed the renovation of the building.
the Library’s standpoint and was land that
The renovation project fundraising was spearheaded by
the city owned. It was an easy decision. The
Austinite Sue Brandt McBee. The refurbished building
new building at 800 Guadalupe, designed by
was opened in 1983 as the Austin History Center.
the Austin architecture firm of Jessen AssociBy 1998 Austin had once again outgrown the central
ates, Inc., was completed in 1979 and contains 110,000 square
and the Austin History Center was bursting at the
feet of space on four stories (plus a basement). It was built at a
space for new archival materials. Even though
cost of $6 million and its modern design was in stark contrast to
Library was designed to allow for the addition
the neighboring Italian Renaissance. Even though the designs
view corridor legislation passed in 1983
were very different there was a continuity in the design team. One
of the additional floors. It was time
of the principals in Jessen Associates, Inc. was Harold E. “Bubi”
fundraisers, the architects and the
Jessen, who had worked on the frescoes in the original library
In November of 2006 voters approved a bond to construct
In 1995 the City Council voted to rename the Central Library
central library; in 2008 the Austin City Council selected
after John Henry Faulk, well-known Austin writer and humorist
of Lake Flato Architect and Shepley Bulfinch
who had died in 1990. Faulk was born in Austin and grew up
Abbott to design the building; in 2010 the Ausin the nineteenth century house in South Austin known as Green
approved a building program and a funding
Pastures. He was a pupil of noted folklorist and storyteller J. Frank
and in the Spring of 2013 ground was
Dobie and from 1947-1956 hosted a daily radio program in New
nearby improvements are expected by
York City. He led the actors’ union fight against the practice of
blacklisting entertainers with alleged connections to the CommuThe new flagship facility will sit promi- Continued on Page 7
nist Party. He appeared on the lecture circuit, in movies and on
John Henry Faulk Image CN05869, courtesy The Center for American History, The University of Texas
at Austin. Sue Brandt McBee Image PICA 30892, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.
Photo courtesy Anne Wheat.
“After the State Capitol,
the Austin History Center is the best,
the most significant building in
the city of Austin.”
Mayor Lee Leffingwell
Now join the Austin History Center Association
When you join, your membership helps promote community awareness
and use of the Austin History Center.
“One of the premier local archives in the country,”
REGISTER ONLINE AND RECEIVE YOUR MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS TODAY.
OR MAIL THIS REGISTRATION WITH YOUR NAME, ADDRESS, PHONE AND EMAIL.
Membership Categories (check one)
$1,000 per year
$ 500 per year
$ 250 per year
$ 100 per year
50 per year
(payable to: Austin History Center Association)
Please charge my account Visa
Amount to charge $
destroy card information after transaction
keep card information on file
All members receive complimentary Austin Past and Present DVD and Austin Remembers newsletter.
$250–$1,000 members also receive discounts on books, maps, postcards and prints from Waterloo Press.
Also visit us in the O. Henry Room of the Austin History Center at 810 Guadalupe (at 9th).
P. O. Box 2287 • Austin, TX 78768 • 512-974-7499 • [email protected] • www.austinhistory.net
LIBRARY from Page 5
nently along Shoal Creek
overlooking Lady Bird Lake.
As the Faulk Central Library
As the western portal to
looks to the new “library of the
downtown and the terminus
future” at 710 W. Cesar Chavez
to Second Street, the library
Street, the Austin History Center
takes advantage of Austin’s
is planning its future expansion as
investment in revitalizing
well. The History Center will move
west downtown and Shoal
its more than one million items
Creek. The 198,000 square
documenting Austin’s history from
foot building will feature a
before its 1839 founding to the
variety of valuable programpresent, including 12,500 biograming elements: generous Architectural vision of the new library along Shoal Creek and Lady Bird Lake. phies on residents who influenced
space to house collections; a technology rich environment with the community and more than 1,000,000 historic photographs,
computers and other electronic equipment; community meet- to the neighboring Faulk Central Library. Early planning shows
ing spaces to accommodate groups ranging from 4 to 350; a the expanded Austin History Center encompassing the two
dedicated children’s area and teen space; a satellite operation of buildings, and includes a central plaza joining them to create
Recycled Reads, the Library’s bookstore, plus a café. Outside a a sense of one place. The move will allow for expanded exlandscaped plaza and street front will provide space for bicycle hibit space allowing for more exhibits and more interaction;
parking and repair facility adjacent to trails and parks.
expanded reading rooms to support students, scholars, and
In the center of the library, natural light will flood an airy, six- citizens as they learn more about Austin’s history; state of the
story atrium. An angled roof and angled glass will diffuse the art archival storage areas to better protect Austin’s history for
harsh Texas sun where stairs and “bridges” of wood and glass future generations; and visible archives with chances for visiwill connect the levels. “We wanted the atrium to be the heart of tors to get a peek at what happens behind the scenes.
the library,” says Lake Flato’s David Lake, lead designer on the
Grace Delano Clark would be proud.
GOLF from Page 1
at the 2013 Masters – his 42nd – seems to be on the other foot.
Many up-and-coming golfers and fans alike now study the Ben
Crenshaw Golf Collection housed in the University’s H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical and Cultural Sports, vast exclusive
collection of photographs, books, multi-media and commentary,
with signatures and notes by Crenshaw and others.
To commemorate the major collection, the Stark hosted
Crenshaw, fellow Austin golf pro Tom Kite and radio sports moderator Ed Clements as panelists for a December 10 gathering
of friends, supporters and Austin History Center Association
guests. The panelists swapped stories about a mutual achievement - 19 PGA Tour wins – including Crenshaw’s two Masters,
and the Ryder Cup, plus Kite’s U.S. Open victory.
For the event, a temporary exhibit of local golf history was
produced collaboratively by the Austin History Center and the
Stark Center from their collections.
To sum up the sport on his website (www.bencrenshaw.
com), Crenshaw says, “I’ve been playing golf almost all my life.
From the time I was six years old when my father took me out
to the Austin Country Club, through all the wins... and some
significant losses, the one constant has been the enjoyment
I’ve gotten from the game and people around the world I’ve
had the pleasure of meeting.”
On a personal note, there are several classmates serving
together on the Austin History Center Association board of directors – Liz Bremond, Becky Bradfield Hizer, Evan Taniguchi,
and I – who have had the pleasure of growing up with Crenshaw, his manager Scotty Sayers and Scotty’s wife Julie. We
can each vouch for how much the above quote sounds just
like our friend.
After all, what other words could better express a modest,
humble and gracious hometown golf hero with a nickname like
PARK from Page 2
process of maintaining and preserving the iconic structures
that define the rustic, handcrafted look of the CCC.
War II, CCC workers had helped creWith a call for greater appreciation of these historical reate a system of forty-eight parks on alsources, especially in light of the recent Bastrop fire, which
most 60,000 acres throughout Texas,
threatened one of the state’s most popular
from the Davis Mountains and Goliad
CCC-era destinations, Brandimarte and
to Goose Island and Possum KingReed profile twenty-nine parks, providing a
descriptive history of each and information
Accompanied by many never-pubon its CCC company, the dates of CCC aclished images that reveal all aspects
tivity, and the CCC-built structures still exof the CCC in Texas, from architec- Cindy Brandimarte and her
isting within the park. In a time when Texas
tural plans to camp life, Texas State new book on State parks.
state parks are in serious need of public
Parks and the CCC covers the forma- CCC also created Zilker
and financial support, Texas State Parks and the CCC will
tion and development of the CCC and Park for the City of Austin.
its design philosophy; the building of the parks and the daily not only inform and entertain; it will also make readers aware
experiences of the workers; the completion and management of the urgency of valuing and protecting this unique part of the
of the parks in the first decades after the war; and the ongoing state’s cultural history.
2014 Angelina Eberly
Luncheon at The Driskill
featuring prominent Austin journalists. 11:30AM
coffee mixer, 12:00
New exhibit opens:
“Backwards in High
Heels: Getting Austin
Woman Elected 18421990” in the Grand
Lobby and Hallway.
Donate to AHCA via
Opening reception for
exhibit “Backwards in High
Heels” to be determined.
New photo exhibit
opens: “In the Shadow
of the Live Music
Capital of the World”
in the David Earl Holt
Opening event for
the “In the Shadow”
2014 AHCA Annual
Meeting. Exact date and
time to be determined.
Reprisal of last
summer’s the AHC
“Beer Garden Social”
at Scholz Garten.
Save these Dates
Austin History Center (AHC), 810 Guadalupe (at 9th), Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10AM – 6PM & Sunday Noon – 6PM
Austin History Center Association, Inc.
P. O. Box 2287
Austin, Texas 78768
Return Service Requested
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Permit No. 1545