Austin: Downtown German Heritage

Austin: Downtown German Heritage

  • <p>Saengerfest, Austin, 1889</p> <p>Gateway arch with wreaths and bunting built across a major road in Austin. Sign on arch says Willkomen zum Saengerfest 1889. Texas state capitol building seen at end of the street</p>
  • <p>Scottish Rite Society’s Turner Hall, 201 W. 18th Street. Now a theatre.</p> <p>Colorized postcard of a large white buiding labeled Scottish Rite Cathedral, Austin, Texas</p>
  • <p>Bertram Store, 1602 Guadalupe St., ca. 1872. Now Clay Pit restaurant.</p> <p>Two storey building with front and side entrances and a balcony in front. Signs painted on building saying R. Bertram and Bertram Dealer in General Merchandise. Horses and carts in front on unpaved road</p>
  • <p>Mauthe-Myrick Mansion, 408 W. 14th Street</p> <p>Two storey house with four tall columns across front</p>
  • <p>Water Tipps Building, 710 Congress Avenue.</p> <p>Three storey building on commercial street named Walter Tipps and Company Hardware, with horse-drawn carts in front</p>
  • <p>Texas General Land Office Building, E. 11th St. and Brazos. Now the Capitol Visitor Center.</p> <p>Two storey brick building on a hill</p>

By the late 1800s, German-Texans played an important role in the formation and growth of Austin and shared their old-country traditions, foods, and songs with the wider population.

“Many highly educated men, who had first adopted the strenuous life of the pioneer farmer when they came to Texas… gradually left their farms for the more congenial life and employment in the city,” wrote historian Moritz Tiling, “and the Germans of Austin have forever been a prominent social, political and industrial factor of the capital of Texas.”

A 19-point walking tour showcases sites downtown that tell the German-Texan story in Austin: from Bertram’s Store on Guadalupe to the old German Free School to the beautiful mansions of various businessmen and politicians.

Downtown Austin Walking/Driving Tour

  • Visit Website for more information and to download a copy of the tour.