Downtown Austin

The Austin skyline in 2011
Local businesses and recreational venues like 6th Street often are next door to office buildings.

Downtown Austin is the central business district of Austin, Texas. It is where the city's highrise buildings are located, as well as being the center of government and business for the region. Downtown Austin is currently experiencing a building boom, with many Downtown Austin Condos & high rise towers being built.

The approximate borders of Downtown include Lamar Boulevard to the west, 11th Street and sometimes Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and the University of Texas at Austin to the north, Interstate 35 to the east, and Lady Bird Lake to the south.[1][2]


Tallest Buildings


Local government

Austin Central Fire Station 1

The city hall is located in Downtown Austin and is the administrative office of Austin. Originally built in 1871, the city hall was demolished and rebuilt multiple times before the current one was built in November of 2004. [3] [4] The current city hall costed $55.6 million to build and contains a total of 7 stories, of which 3 are underground. [5] Within the building, city council meetings take place in the council chambers. [6] The city council, including the mayor, are voted by Austin's residents and serve 3 year terms. [7]

Austin Central Fire Station 1, 2, and 4 of the Austin Fire Department, all of which are located in downtown, provides fire protection. [8]

County government

Heman Marion Sweatt Travis County Courthouse in Austin

The County offices, including the Commissioners Court, district courts, county courts, and other facilities are located in the Downtown Complex.[9]

State government

Downtown Austin Post Office

Downtown Austin is dominated by the Texas State Capitol and associated government buildings.

The University of Texas System is headquartered in Downtown Austin.[10] O. Henry Hall, the main headquarters, was originally a federal courthouse and post office.[11]

The Thomas J. Rusk State Office Building is located in Downtown Austin. It includes the Texas State University System headquarters.[12]

The Texas Third Court of Appeals is located in the Price Daniel, Sr. State Office Building in Downtown Austin.[13]

Federal government

The United States Postal Service operates the Downtown Austin Post Office in Downtown Austin.[14]

Diplomatic missions

The Consulate-General of Mexico in Austin was located in Suite 330 within the 800 Brazos Street/Brazos Place complex.[15] It is now located west of Downtown Austin.[16]


Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority provides public transportation services. The Capital Metrorail Downtown Station is located on Fourth Street, between Neches and Trinity; the station is outside of the Austin Convention Center.[17]


Whole Foods Market headquarters

Major employers in Downtown Austin include the corporate headquarters and flagship store of Whole Foods Market and GSD&M Idea City.[18][19] Texas Monthly, a magazine, has its headquarters in Downtown Austin.[20] Schlotzsky's has its headquarters in the 301 Congress Avenue building in Downtown Austin.[21] The Texas Observer, a magazine, has its headquarters in Downtown Austin.[22]

The Downtown Austin Alliance is a partnership of individuals and business dedicated to promoting Downtown Austin.[23]


Colleges and universities

Rio Grande Campus of Austin Community College, formerly Austin High School and John T. Allan Junior High School.[24]

Austin Community College operates the Rio Grande Campus in Downtown.

Primary and secondary schools

Pease Elementary School

Austin Independent School District operates area public schools. The zoned schools are located outside of Downtown. All residents south of 15th Street are zoned to Mathews Elementary School, O. Henry Middle School, and Austin High School. Some residents north of 15th Street are zoned to Lee Elementary School, Kealing Middle School, and McCallum High School. Other residents are zoned to Bryker Woods Elementary School, O. Henry Middle School, and Austin High School.[25] In addition, Pease Elementary School is located in Downtown Austin.[26]

Pease was built in 1876.[27] Mathews was built in 1916.[28] Bryker Woods and Lee were built in 1939.[29][30] McCallum and O. Henry were built in 1953.[31][32] The current Austin High School campus opened in 1975.[33]

The Khabele School, a private middle and high school, is located in Downtown Austin.[34]

Arts and culture

The Austin Museum of Art - Downtown

Downtown Austin is famous for its culture and 6th Street, a historic street and entertainment district. [35]


The Paramount Theater is one of Austin's cultural icons. [36] Built and completed in 1915, it was originally made for vaudeville. Over the years, as movies became the leading form of entertainment, the theater was remodel with upholstered chairs and a state-of-the-art sound system.[36] The theater would nearly close in the 1960s as people made the move from theaters to television.[36] However, the building would be restored before closing, leading the Paramount Theater to avoid demolition. Today, the theater continues to operate, viewing popular movies. [36]


The Austin Museum of Art is located in the 823 Congress building near the capitol.[37] The museum displays 4 to 6 exhibitions per year. [38]


The Texas Tribune has its headquarters in Downtown Austin.[39]


External links

Sixth Street Austin.jpg Austin portal


  1. ^ "Downtown Austin Plan." City of Austin. Revised February 14, 2009. 17 of 177. Retrieved on February 4, 2009.
  2. ^ "Neighborhoods in Brief". Frommer's. Retrieved 2009-07-28. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Austin City Hall". The City of Austin. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  4. ^ "2nd Street District". The City of Austin. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  5. ^ "About City Hall". The City of Austin. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  6. ^ "Council Chambers". The City of Ausitn. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  7. ^ "Austin City Council". The City of Austin. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  8. ^ "Austin Fire Department Station Map". The City of Austin. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  9. ^ "Travis County Downtown Complex." Travis County. Retrieved on March 10, 2010.
  10. ^ "UT System Contact Information." University of Texas System. Retrieved on October 3, 2009.
  11. ^ "Historic Federal Courthouses Austin, Texas." Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved on May 28, 2010.
  12. ^ "Contact Information." Texas State University System. Retrieved on November 15, 2008.
  13. ^ "Contact Information." Texas Third Court of Appeals. Retrieved on March 9, 2010.
  14. ^ "Post Office Location - DOWNTOWN AUSTIN." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on May 7, 2010.
  15. ^ "Contactenos." (Spanish) Consulate-General of Mexico in Austin. Retrieved on November 17, 2008.
  16. ^ "Contactenos." (Spanish) Consulate-General of Mexico in Austin. Retrieved on February 23, 2011. "Contactenos Consulado General de México en Austin 410 Baylor Street. Austin, Texas. 78703."
  17. ^ "Downtown Station." Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved on May 8, 2010.
  18. ^ "World Headquarters". Whole Foods Market. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  19. ^ "About Us". GSD&M. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  20. ^ "Media Kit." Texas Monthly. Retrieved on September 5, 2009.
  21. ^ "Contact Us." Schlotzsky's. Retrieved on February 25, 2010.
  22. ^ "Contact." The Texas Observer. Retrieved on May 6, 2010.
  23. ^ "Welcome to Downtown Austin, Texas". Downtown Austin Alliance. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  24. ^ "Austin High School Historical Marker Text". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 2007-07-05. 
  25. ^ "School Assignment by Residential Address." Austin Independent School District. Retrieved on April 20, 2009.
  26. ^ "Pease Elementary School." Pease Elementary School. Retrieved on April 20, 2009.
  27. ^ "Campus Facts." Pease Elementary School. Retrieved on April 20, 2009.
  28. ^ "Campus Facts." Mathews Elementary School. Retrieved on April 20, 2009.
  29. ^ "Campus Facts." Bryker Woods Elementary School. Retrieved on April 20, 2009.
  30. ^ "Campus Facts." Lee Elementary School. Retrieved on April 20, 2009.
  31. ^ "Campus Facts." O. Henry Middle School. Retrieved on April 20, 2009.
  32. ^ "Campus Facts." McCallum High School. Retrieved on April 20, 2009.
  33. ^ "Campus Facts." Austin High School. Retrieved on April 20, 2009.
  34. ^ Home. Khabele School. Retrieved on August 12, 2011. "801 Rio Grande, Austin TX 78701"
  35. ^ "About Austin's 6th Street". Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  36. ^ a b c d "The Paramount Theatre - History". Austin Theatre. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  37. ^ "About AMOA". The Austin Museum of Art. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  38. ^ Faires, Robert. Austin Arts. 2005.
  39. ^ "Contact Us." The Texas Tribune. Retrieved on May 30, 2010.

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