The Italian Renaissance building at 9th and Guadalupe St., the current home to the Austin History Center, was built in 1933. The AHC is no longer able to maintain its growing archives in the building’s limited space. Recognizing this, the Austin City Council has endorsed the expansion of the Austin History Center into the neighboring John Henry Faulk Central Library building.
Austin History Central
AHCA is exploring what interest there might be in raising funds in the community to convert both buildings into a combined world-class Research and Archival History Central Campus, to ensure Austin’s diverse past is fully available for understanding and presentation to future generations on how Our Austin Story evolved into the Austin we know today.
The Austin History Center is the local history division of the Austin Public Library. Here, information about local governments, businesses, residents, schools, and neighborhoods is collected and preserved so we all – and generations to come – have access to our collective history, which is uniquely Austin. Through these stories, we are connected to people who came before us and created our city.
The AHC is unlike any other library, archive, or museum in Austin. It’s home to more than a million photographs of the people who have helped shape our city; more than 35,000 drawings by planners, architects, developers and builders; and thousands of oral histories, letters, diaries, and records that tell stories of the ordinary, the famous, and the infamous people and organizations that left their mark on Austin. More of these treasures come through the doors of the AHC every day.
The AHCA Board of Directors has set a course to assist in the financing necessary to merge the two buildings – the current AHC and the Faulk building – into a revamped state-of-the-art Archival and Research Campus for all Austinites. Specifically, AHCA has committed to raising $50,000 of the funds necessary to develop a formal programmatic master plan for the project in conjunction with the Austin Public Library and AHC staff, history related organizations and the community at large. This master plan would be based on the January 2019 Gensler Reimagining the Faulk community vision project.
Based on the results of that master plan, AHCA is committed to convening discussions regarding a community capital campaign, to be implemented in the 2025-2027 timeframe. The ultimate goal would be to raise the necessary funds to redesign the interior of the AHC and Faulk, while maintaining their historic architectural features, into a museum, research campus for all citizens to digitally and visual interact with the vast collections maintained at AHC currently, which are growing daily.
AHCA envisions the developed museum campus to open in 2023 and become the centerpiece of a new Downtown Historical Corridor in west downtown and be incorporated in the Downtown Way finding Plan.
If you would like to donate to development of the master plan, send your check to:
Austin History Center Association
P.O. Box 2287
Austin, TX 78768
Gensler Reimagining the Faulk Report