Austin in 1937
Austin abounds in places of special and historic interest. Sr. David’s church on Eleventh Street is the oldest standing church in Texas outside of the Spanish missions. Here is located the state cemetery, “The Arlington of Texas” where monuments mark the resting places of General
Albert Sidney Johnston, Stephen F. Austin and other famous men. A shrine of art lovers throughout the country is the Elizabet Ney Studio containing works of Miss Ney, who formerly lived here. She was one of the world’s greatest sculptors and her works are to be found in practically every capital in Europe, as well as in the National Capital at Washington and in the National Museum.
Here will be found, on East Eighth Street, the old French Legation, set on a high hill surrounded by mesquite trees generations old. It is the only building ever built on American soil by a foreign government, and was erected in 1841 from hand sawn lumber to house the Ambassador of France to the Republic of Texas.
The governor’s mansion is a stately old building of true southern Colonial lines. Its dignified wide columns and broad verandas portray the fashion in fine homes when the great Republic of Texas was in the making.
Other places of interest include the State Capital Building, seventh largest building in the world, its dome taller than the national capital at Washington. In the capital will be found rare and famous paintings, and the original documents, the Texas Declaration of Independence, and the Later declaration of secession preceding the war between the states; the state university with its great library, and the library of the states containing 650,000 volumes and 1,500,000 manuscripts among which are the famous Whenn collection containing English first editions; Garcia, having the greatest collection of Mexican history; the archives, collection of Southern historical documents.
Nearby Mt. Bonnell offers a thrill to the hiker and motorist for scenic beauty seldom surpassed. Zilker park has been developed into 350 acres of loveliness with tables and camping nooks along the shady banks of the Colorado, a rock garden, lily and turtle pools, skeet field, riding stables, reptile garden, arboretum, etc. It contains Barton Springs, a spot Austin is justly proud of, where an immense swimming pool is fed by springs that flow over 17,000,000 gallons of pure, crystal clear water daily. It is a beautiful municipal resort with artistic landscaping, pavilion, and other attractions.
Austin offers exceptional educational facilities and is Texas’ outstanding educational center. Here is located the great University of Texas, largest university in the south. There is also St. Edward’s University, the “Notre Dame of Texas”, Concordia Lutheran College, St. Mary’s Academy, and several other schools of lesser importance. Here too are many of the state’s eleemosynary institutions having a large enrollment.
Austin, as the seat of government, and with its many natural advantages, appears destined to enjoy a steady and substantial growth for many years to come.
The State of Texas book : one hundred years of progress, 1937, page 488