Cultural Walk in Austin North Downtown (Self Guided), Austin

North downtown Austin is the location of the most noted museums and galleries in the city. From history museums and science centers, to the restored Neill-Cochran House, art galleries and the Lyndon Johnson Library. Many attractions await visitors on this tour of Austin’s north downtown area.
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Cultural Walk in Austin North Downtown Map

Guide Name: Cultural Walk in Austin North Downtown
Guide Location: USA » Austin (See other walking tours in Austin)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 Km or 2.9 Miles
Author: christine
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
  • Blanton Museum of Art
  • Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
  • Texas Natural Science Center at Texas Memorial Museum
  • Littlefield House
  • Neill-Cochran House Museum
  • Harry Ransom Center
1
Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum

1) Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum (must see)

The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, is a history museum in Austin, Texas. The museum is a division of the Texas State Preservation Board. Its stated mission is to tell "the Story of Texas."

The history museum is named after former Texas Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock, who championed its creation. It has three floors of interactive exhibits; the first floor theme is "land," the second floor theme "identity," and the third floor theme "opportunity." The Texas Spirit Theater on the second floor has 200 seats and three screens and is used as a multimedia special effects theater, playing two shows daily. The museum also has a 70mm film-based IMAX theater, the only one in Austin. The theater seats 400 and has a projector with both 2-D and 3-D capability.

Operation hours: Monday – Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm; Sunday: 12 – 5 pm

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Blanton Museum of Art

2) Blanton Museum of Art

The Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art is the art museum and research center of the University of Texas at Austin. Formerly under the College of Fine Arts, the museum director now reports to the University's Executive Vice-President and Provost.

The museum is one of the largest university art museums in the United States, housing some 18,000 works from Europe, the United States and Latin America. 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. In 1980, the museum was renamed the Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery.

Operation hours: Tuesday – Friday: 10 am – 5 pm; Saturday: 11 am – 5 pm; Sunday: 1 pm – 5 pm

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum

3) Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum (must see)

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.

Operation hours: Monday – Sunday: 9 am – 5 pm

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Texas Natural Science Center at Texas Memorial Museum

4) Texas Natural Science Center at Texas Memorial Museum (must see)

The Texas Natural Science Center at Texas Memorial Museum is a great place to go for an insightful look into Texas archeology. Several museum floors are dedicated to fossils, minerals, Jurassic animal skeletons and fragments of biologic remains. There are also interactive dioramas and moving exhibits. It contains a gift shop with loads of educational items and toys. Entrance is free and the museum grounds are a pleasant place to take a walk.

Operation hours: Tuesday- Saturday: 9 am- 5 pm
5
Littlefield House

5) Littlefield House

The Littlefield House is an historic home in Austin on the campus of the University of Texas. The home was built in 1893 for Civil War veteran George Littlefield, who was a successful businessman in the bank and cattle trades and a major benefactor to UT. It was designed using the popular Victorian style.

While living in the house, Major Littlefield and his wife Alice made a tremendous number of contributions to the university, including funds for the Littlefield Fountain, the Main Building, and the Littlefield Dormitory. They also developed the Littlefield Building downtown, finished in 1912.

When Alice Littlefield died in 1935, she left the home to the university. Today it is used for storage and office space by the Office of Resource Development.

George Littlefield had a "Deodar Cedar" (Cedrus deodara), or "Himalayan Cedar" imported from the Himalayas and planted on the property. Littlefield even had the soil where the tree was to be placed dug up and replaced with Himalayan soil. Arguably one of the most interesting trees on campus, the approximately 35-foot tree is located on the southwest side of the house, and is readily discernible by its distinctive horizontal layers.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Neill-Cochran House Museum

6) Neill-Cochran House Museum

The Neill-Cochran House Museum is a historic home in north-central Austin, a few blocks west of the University of Texas. It was built in 1855 as a suburban estate many years before the surrounding area was settled by other homes and businesses. In 1876, the home was sold to Colonel Andrew Neill, a Confederate veteran. Neill lived there with his wife Jennie Chapman Neill, who stayed on after Neill's death and in 1893 rented the home to Judge Thomas Beauford Cochran. The two-story Greek Revival home was designed and constructed by noted master builder Abner Cook and features prominent Doric columns and Mr. Cook's signature "sheaf of wheat" balusters.

Operation hours: Wednesday – Sunday: 1 pm – 4 pm

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Harry Ransom Center

7) 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.

Beyond these, the Center houses many culturally important documents and artifacts. Particular strengths include modern literature, performing arts, and photography.

Operation hours: Monday-Wednesday,Friday: 10 am- 5 pm, Thursday: 10 am- 7 pm. Saturday-Sunday:12 pm-5 pm.

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

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