“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Austin in Travis County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Congress Avenue

Congress Avenue Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith Peterson, September 9, 2007
1. Congress Avenue Marker

In his original 1839 plan for the capital city, Edwin Waller, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence and Austin’s first Mayor, designed Congress Avenue as Austin’s most prominent street. Known for many years as “The Avenue”, the street has been the scene of many important social, political, patriotic, religious, and military events.

Early structures along Congress Avenue included government buildings, hotels, saloons, retail stores, and restaurants. By the late 1840s it was a well established business district. The mid-1870s saw the introduction of gaslight illumination and mule-drawn streetcars, as well as construction of a new Travis County Courthouse at Eleventh Street. The present Capitol was built in 1883-88. Bricks replaced the original dirt street in 1910, and trolley cars operated on the avenue until 1940.

Economic progress and modernization altered the avenue’s appearance over the years, but it remains the city’s most historic and identifiable street. In recognition of its architectural and historical significance, Congress Avenue from First Street to the Capitol was listed in the National
Congress Avenue Marker Area image. Click for full size.
By Larry D. Moore, December 22, 2020
2. Congress Avenue Marker Area
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Register of Historic Places in 1979.
Erected 1989 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 14389.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Roads & Vehicles. A significant historical year for this entry is 1839.
Location. 30° 15.799′ N, 97° 44.688′ W. Marker is in Austin, Texas, in Travis County. Marker is at the intersection of Congress Avenue and West Cesar Chavez Street (Route 343), on the right when traveling south on Congress Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Austin TX 78701, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. H&TC and I&GN Depots (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Austin City Limits (approx. 0.2 miles away); J.P. Schneider Store (approx. ¼ mile away); Original Site of First Methodist Church of Austin (approx. ¼ mile away); Southwestern Telegraph & Telephone Building (approx. ¼ mile away); Site of the Headquarters of the United States Army for 5th Military District (approx. ¼ mile away); Grinninger Fence (approx. ¼ mile away); Hotel Provident and Heierman Building (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Austin.
Also see . . .  Edwin Waller 1800 - 1881. The State Cemetery Website contributes a biography and photos of his gravesite. (Submitted on December 30, 2009.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 3, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 24, 2009, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas. This page has been viewed 897 times since then and 31 times this year. Last updated on February 25, 2017, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas. Photos:   1. submitted on December 24, 2009, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas.   2. submitted on December 23, 2020, by Larry D. Moore of Del Valle, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 17, 2021