“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
Inscription. In his original 1839 plan for the capital city, Edwin Waller, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence and Austinís first Mayor, designed Congress Avenue as Austinís 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 avenueís appearance over the years, but it remains the cityís 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 Register of Historic Places in 1979.
Erected 1989 by the Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 14389.)
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 - East 1st 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.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Austin, C.S.A. (within shouting distance of this marker); J.P. Schneider Store (approx. ľ mile away); Original Site of First Methodist Church of Austin (approx. ľ mile away); Southwestern Telegraph & Telephone Building (approx. ľ mile away); Site of the Headquarters of the United States Army for 5th Military District (approx. ľ mile away); Grinninger Fence (approx. ľ mile away); Hotel Provident and Heierman Building (approx. 0.3 miles away); Scarbrough Building (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Austin.
Also see . . .
1. Edwin Waller 1800 - 1881. The State Cemetery Website contributes a biography and photos of his gravesite. (Submitted on December 30, 2009.) 

2. Congress Avenue. In 1839 a plan for the city of Austin was established by Edwin Waller that located a grid of intersecting streets on the north bank of the Colorado River. The streets running north/south were named for the rivers of Texas, with the center north/south avenue named Congress Avenue. The streets running east/west were named for the native trees of the state, but were changed to numbers sometime in 1897 or 1898. Congress Avenue's most recognizable landmark; a four block area known as Capital Square was established at the head of the Avenue. Although the city was meticulously laid out from the it's very inception it took many years for Austin to begin to resemble Wallers plan. (Submitted on December 30, 2009.) 
Categories. Roads & Vehicles
Credits. This page was last revised on February 27, 2017. This page originally submitted on December 24, 2009, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas. This page has been viewed 763 times since then. Last updated on February 25, 2017, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas. Photo   1. submitted on December 24, 2009, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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