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“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)
 

Zavala Elementary School

 
 
Zavala Elementary School Marker image. Click for full size.
circa 2012
1. Zavala Elementary School Marker
Photo courtesy of Zavala Elementary School
Inscription.  

In the 1930s, a rapidly growing Latino population caused the joint decision of the Austin Independent School District and Austin City Council to plan a separate facility for children attending Metz Elementary School. Austin architects Giesecke and Harris and San Antonio builders M. C. Falbo & Sons were chosen to build a 12-room brick schoolhouse in December 1935. The $42,935 cost was paid for entirely through federal Public Works Administration (PWA) funds. In 1936, as Texas commemorated its centennial of independence from Mexico, the school was dedicated to Lorenzo de Zavala, the only native of Mexico to sign the Texas declaration of independence and vice-president of the Republic of Texas. He had died in 1836. The school opened in the fall and was officially dedicated on October 21, 1936.

In March 1938, U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt approved another PWA project, Santa Rita Courts, as the first federal housing project in the nation. The subsidized housing project was built directly east of the school, with Giesecke and Harris and Falbo & Sons selected for its construction. In March 1939, a request to the school board
Zavala Elementary School Marker image. Click for full size.
October 25, 2012
2. Zavala Elementary School Marker
This photo shows the covered marker during the dedication ceremony.
to build an addition to the school to accommodate new students culminated in additional PWA funding. Santa Rita Courts were completed in June 1939, and a companion project, Chalmers Court, was finished to the west in September. Zavala’s enrollment expanded again, and in the 1940s, Zavala was one of four Austin schools determined to be excessively overcrowded; another addition was completed in 1947. Zavala Elementary became an anchor for federal programs in the area. The school continues to serve the educational and community needs of the neighborhood.
 
Erected 2012 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 17292.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EducationHispanic Americans.
 
Location. 30° 15.494′ N, 97° 43.19′ W. Marker is in Austin, Texas, in Travis County. Marker is at the intersection of Robert T. Martinez, Jr. Street and Santa Maria Street, on the right when traveling south on Robert T. Martinez, Jr. Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 10 Robert Martinez Jr, Austin TX 78702, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Tillotson College (approx. half a mile away); Parque Zaragoza (approx. 0.6 miles away); Mount Olive Baptist Church (approx. 0.6 miles away); Blackshear Elementary School
Zavala Elementary School Marker Dedication Ceremony image. Click for full size.
October 25, 2012
3. Zavala Elementary School Marker Dedication Ceremony
Congressman Lloyd Doggett (middle) with members of the Travis County Historical Commission at the marker dedication ceremony.
(approx. 0.6 miles away); John A. Wharton (approx. 0.6 miles away); Albert Sydney Johnston (approx. 0.6 miles away); Capt. Jesse Billingsley (approx. 0.6 miles away); John Edward Lewis (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Austin.
 
Also see . . .  Zavala, Lorenzo de (1788–1836), Handbook of Texas. (Submitted on February 20, 2021, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 21, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 20, 2021, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas. This page has been viewed 33 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 20, 2021, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas.   3. submitted on February 20, 2021. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 3, 2021