On My Block ATX

12th & Chicon: Honoring Austin Blacks in Baseball

The Black Senators, Austin’s black baseball team in the first part of the 20th century, played at Downs Field in East Austin. The field is now home to the Huston-Tillotson University Rams. Houston artist Reginald Adams and members of the East Austin senior center are commemorating the players by crafting murals.

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12th & Chicon: Saving Emancipation Park

A parcel of land in the Chestnut neighborhood of East Austin was once home to the city’s annual Juneteenth celebration. Now, it’s the proposed site of a new development that neighbors say would undermine its historical significance.

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12th & Chicon: Juggling the Demands of a Business

Meet Vivian Linden and Kathy Duffy, co-owners and practitioners at Rosewood Acupuncture & Ayurveda on Chicon. The office is the manifestation of a business plan they created in school to provide affordable health care to everyone.

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12th & Chicon: What a New Business Owner Sees

Executive Chef and Owner of Big Easy Bar & Grill Darold Gordon, has brought a taste of his hometown of New Orleans to the neighborhood. He opened his restaurant in 2013, about eight years after Hurricane Katrina forced him to move to Central Texas. His restaurant is where the old Club 40 used to be…

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12th & Chicon: ‘Shepherd’ of East Austin Funerals

Barry J.W. Franklin of King Tears Mortuary has been in the funeral business since he was in high school. King Tears Mortuary, located at 12th and San Bernard streets in East Austin.

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12th & Chicon: Charlie’s Playhouse

Charlie’s Playhouse was a blues club entertaining the predominantly black neighborhood in east Austin when it opened in the late 1950s. Within a decade the audience integration was pushing the regulars out, and in 1971 Charlie’s closed. The community is working so history doesn’t repeat itself, on the same block.

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12th & Chicon: Businesses Adapting

A drug market intervention by the Austin Police Department in 2012 changed the activities previously common to 12th & Chicon. Despite the positives from this effort, there have been downsides too. Several of the long-standing businesses in the area are learning to adapt to the new 12th & Chicon.

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12th & Chicon: KUT’s Coverage Approach

The KUT newsroom wants to share stories from the people that live near 12th and Chicon and know it best. In doing this, we do feel we have to acknowledge that our news staff does not reflect the diversity of the community we’ll be covering. We have several objectives in this project, and one of…

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12th & Chicon: Rising Land Values

Changes in the population of Austin, and the people now living here, are creating opportunities, but they’re also causing tension between the newcomers and the old-timers. The impact in East Austin can be seen through new construction as well as felt by residents.

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12th & Chicon: The Absence of Anderson High

In the summer of 1971, after years of trying to get families to integrate within different schools across Austin, the school district was forced to close Anderson High School. Students were rezoned to other high schools across the city, but it’s a move that still resonates within the community decades later.

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12th & Chicon: By the Light of the Moon

A handful of new bars and nightclubs have cropped up recently near 12th and Chicon streets. To some it’s a resurgence from decades ago, except the clientele has become much more mixed.

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12th & Chicon: Keep the Faith

The community surrounding the Mission Possible Church may be changing, but its role to serve people, all of them, remains steadfast and strong. Much like many of the area’s businesses and support centers.

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12th & Chicon: Braces for Change

Neighbors and business owners on 12th & Chicon’s Southeast Corner in East Austin know it’s just a matter of time before change will come and impact them. A few of these residents shared their insight and history with us.

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12th & Chicon: Staying Put

Many of longtime neighbors have opted to sell their property and move away from East Austin, but Brian Mays, one of the owners of Sam’s BBQ, is staying put. Mays talks about how the community around him has changed over the past few years.

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