Austin Southeast Downtown Architecture Walk (Self Guided), Austin

A pleasant walk from the heart of downtown Austin to its Southeast corner makes for an interesting and entertaining observation of its history and architecture. From the most beautiful and remarkable buildings to the State Cemetery where historic city figures have been laid to rest, every block is full of surprises.
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Austin Southeast Downtown Architecture Walk Map

Guide Name: Austin Southeast Downtown Architecture Walk
Guide Location: USA » Austin (See other walking tours in Austin)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Author: christine
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Central Christian Church
  • Texas Governor's Mansion
  • Lundberg Bakery
  • Texas State Capitol
  • Cathedral of Saint Mary in Austin
  • The Millett Opera House
  • Walter Tips Building
  • O. Henry Hall
  • Driskill Hotel
  • Hannig Row Building
  • O. Henry Museum
1
Central Christian Church

1) Central Christian Church

Central Christian Church is a major church in downtown Austin. It is one of the oldest congregations in the city. The church has also been known as Christian Church of Austin. The current church building, feauring Romanesque architecture, was completed in 1929. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.

In 1847 ten members of the Disciples of Christ Brotherhood met to organize this congregation. Although early records of the church are scarce, it is known that regular worship services were being held in a local school building by 1852. The Christian Church of Austin acquired its first property at Eighth and Colorado Streets and worshiped at that site until moving to current location in 1929. An early dispute over theological and procedural matters split the congregation in 1888. The fellowship adopted its current name during the early years of the twentieth century, after other Disciples of Christ congregations had been organized in Austin. Although much growth has occurred in the outlying sections of the city, Central Christian Church has remained a vital force in the downtown area. Its ministry has included the establishment of several other congregations.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Texas Governor's Mansion

2) Texas Governor's Mansion (must see)

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 and has been the home of every governor since 1856.

On June 8, 2008, while midway through a major renovation, the mansion was damaged badly by an arson fire started with a Molotov cocktail.

Built by Abner Cook in a Greek Revival style and completed during 1856, the building occupies the center of a block and is surrounded by trees and gardens. The original mansion was 6,000 square feet (560 m2). Remodeling during 1914 increased the size of the mansion to 8,920 square feet (829 m2). The original mansion had 11 rooms but no bathrooms. The remodeling brought the room count to 25 rooms and 7 bathrooms. In 1931, at the recommendation of former Texas First Lady Mildred Paxton Moody, the Forty-second Texas Legislature established the Board of Mansion Supervisors to oversee all interior and exterior upkeep and enhancements to the mansion.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Lundberg Bakery

3) Lundberg Bakery

The Lundberg Bakery, also known as the Old Bakery and Emporium, is a historic bakery building currently serving as a gift shop in downtown Austin, Texas. The building was completed in 1876 and is located at 1006 Congress Avenue. At the time the bakery began operations, bread was not sold wrapped or packaged. People would wait in line with cloth lined baskets to place the bread in after buying it.

The building served as a bakery until its owner, Swedish immigrant Charles Lundberg, died in 1895. It changed hands frequently until being bought and refurbished by the Austin Heritage Society in 1962. It was threatened with demolition in 1970, when a new building was planned for the Texas Department of Transportation, but saved when excavations next door uncovered the foundations of the previous state capitol building. Following the discovery, the foundations were converted to a historical plaza, and the bakery was saved.

The building is constructed of limestone with a brick facade, and features a large cast-iron eagle at the peak of the gabled roof overlooking Congress Avenue. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 17, 1969.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Texas State Capitol

4) Texas State Capitol (must see)

The Texas State Capitol is located in Austin and is the fourth building to be the house of Texas state 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 to 1888 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 capitol has 360,000 square feet (33,000 square meters) of floor space, more than any other state capitol building, and is on 2.25 acres of land. The building has nearly four hundred rooms and more than nine hundred windows.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Cathedral of Saint Mary in Austin

5) Cathedral of Saint Mary in Austin (must see)

Saint Mary's Cathedral is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin, located in Austin.

The origins of this church date back to the 1850s, when the Catholic community in Austin built a small stone church named St. Patrick's on the corner of 9th and Brazos streets. In 1866 the church was renamed Saint Mary's, and the parish decided they needed a new church and could afford masonry construction. In 1872, after Austin was made the permanent capital of the state, the parish laid the cornerstone for a new church, choosing a location one block north of the original building.

The parish had laid out a basilica-shaped foundation and begun raising the walls, which were 5 feet (1.5 m) high when the architect Nicholas J. Clayton began to design their new church.

When the new Diocese of Austin was formed in 1948, this became the cathedral of the newly formed diocese. At that time, the church was remodeled, many of its neo-Gothic decorations were removed, the neo-Gothic altars and altar rail were replaced with 20th century marble and the baldachino with its cactus and bluebonnets, evocative of central Texas.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
The Millett Opera House

6) The Millett Opera House

The Millett Opera House is a historic building in downtown Austin, Texas. Built in 1878 by local lumber seller Charles Millett on one of his lots, the house was one of the largest performance spaces in Texas upon its completion. It featured 800 removable seats, 24-inch limestone walls, and the largest enclosed space in Texas. The Opera House was designed by Frederick Ruffini, a noted architect working throughout Texas.

The Austin Public Free Schools purchased the opera house in 1940. In the 1950s, it was threatened with demolition, but preserved by a local group of concerned citizens. It housed a printing company until 1979.

The Austin Club renovated the building and continues to hold social events there today. The building has been divided into three stories, removing the performance space, but a portion of the original hand-painted ceiling is still installed in one of the meeting rooms.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Walter Tips Building

7) Walter Tips Building

The Walter Tips Building is the most beautiful building on Congress Avenue. Built in 1876, it is one of several buildings constructed by J.N. Preston for the Tips Foundry & Machine Company. The second and third floor facades bear prominent Venetian Gothic features, with a row of five richly decorated windows and banded pilasters. Nowadays, the building is still used as a commercial space.
8
O. Henry Hall

8) O. Henry Hall

O. Henry Hall, also or formerly known as the U.S. Post Office and Federal Building, is an historic building located at 601 Colorado Street in Austin.

Completed in 1881 under the supervision of architect Abner Cook, the District Court met there from then until 1936. One of its most noted trials occurred in February 1898, when William Sidney Porter - the man who later became known under the pen name of O. Henry - was tried and convicted of embezzlement there. After its acquisition by the University of Texas, it was renamed for the author, who had previously resided nearby in what is now officially called the William Sidney Porter House, but is better known as the O. Henry House.

It is currently owned by the University of Texas, and serves as the administrative headquarters for the University of Texas System.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
Driskill Hotel

9) Driskill Hotel (must see)

The Driskill Hotel, a Romanesque style building completed in 1886, is the oldest operating hotel in Austin, and one of the best-known hotels in Texas generally.

The Driskill was conceived and built by Col. Jesse Driskill, a cattleman who spent his fortune constructing "the finest hotel south of St. Louis". The hotel was completed at a cost of $400,000. Its four stories occupied almost half a block, with three arched entryways on the south, east, and north sides. Carved limestone busts of Driskill and his two sons, Bud and Tobe, crowned the hotel on each of these sides. Six million bricks went into the structure, along with limestone features. The hotel's 60 rooms included 12 corner rooms with attached baths, an almost unheard-of feature in any hotel of the region at that time.

The hotel included an open design to encourage airflow throughout the building and keep it cool; its primary feature was an open rotunda at the center that extended from the first to the fourth floors and culminated in a domed skylight.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
10
Hannig Row Building

10) Hannig Row Building

The Hannig Row Building is the second most notable building on 6th Street, after the Driskill Hotel. It was built in 1876, designed by J.N. Preston in the Renaissance Revival style. Its original owner, Joseph W. Hannig, was a cabinetmaker, famous for his wine parties and the 4th husband of Susanna Dickinson, one of the most noted women in Austin’s history.
11
O. Henry Museum

11) O. Henry Museum (must see)

This little Victorian cottage was the house of famous American writer William Sydney Porter, known as O. Henry, from 1893 to 1895. The house was built in 1886, located at 308 East 4th Street. When the neighborhood became a warehouse district, to avoid its demolition, the cottage was relocated to its present address. It preserves some of O. Henry's belongings, such as books and manuscripts. It also contains the original period furniture and photographs of O. Henry's life in Austin. The house became his museum in 1934.

Operation hours: Wednesday - Sunday: 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Walking Tours in Austin, Texas

Create Your Own Walk in Austin

Create Your Own Walk in Austin

Creating your own self-guided walk in Austin is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
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Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 Km or 3.4 Miles
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Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
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Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
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