The loss of long-time East Austin residents is changing the look of some congregations. The handful of remaining churches are learning to embrace the diversity and changes within their communities, but some are left with no choice but to pull up their roots and move to a new location.
According to a book co-written by the curator of the Austin History Center, the Harlem Theater was one of only seven black-owned theaters in the country in the early 20th century. And, compared to other theaters in Austin, where black customers were either not allowed or segregated to the balcony seats, it offered moviegoers their…
Huston-Tillotson University President Colette Pierce Burnette says as the neighborhood surrounding the historically black college expands, the footprint and impact of the university must, as well. HT was once two separate schools founded in the late 19th century, Samuel Huston College and Tillotson Collegiate and Normal Institute. In 1952, the schools combined.
East 11th seems to be the picture of urban renewal in Austin. Since the city launched its revitalization effort in 1999, the street has made significant progress toward becoming a visitor destination. Residential, retail and office development is booming. Just a few blocks away on East 12th, things are a lot quieter.
Neighborhoods in East Austin are not immune to the difficult deliberations over housing density, affordability, and when a “tear-down” truly needs to be labeled historic. City council and the Historic Landmark Commission are challenged with weighing the rights of a homeowner and the desire to preserve Austin’s history.
Ebony Acres, a historically black neighborhood in East Austin, is at the crossroads of preservation and development. With some homes slated for demolition, some neighbors are trying to slow the tides of change.
Nearly a quarter of students at Kealing Middle School are considered at-risk of dropping out, which is why the PTA runs a mentorship program. Meet mentor Gabriel Russell, a student at Huston-Tillotson, and Joshua Morgan, a Kealing student. They’re involved in the Kealing Men program. Several local and national programs have cropped up focusing on…
In East Austin a lot has changed–new homes, new businesses, new residents-–but there are some things that have stayed the same. As part of our On My Block series, KUT’s Lauren Hubbard brings us to Marshall’s Barbershop, a longtime fixture in the neighborhood that’s now one of the few black-owned businesses in the neighborhood.
Judy Mitchell grew up in the neighborhood and raised her children there, but she’s sad that many longtime residents are being offered money to leave their homes and then can’t afford to stay in the neighborhood. Mitchell owns the Ideal Soul Mart at the corner of Angelina Street and Rosewood Avenue.
On one East Austin corner, Bobby Mitchell operates Ideal Soul Mart, Ideal Beauty Salon, and Swamp Daddy’s Cajun food truck. Inches away, Charles Carver operates a law office from an Airstream in the parking lot. The convergence of these varied services is emblematic of the new businesses moving into the neighborhood.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.