Austin History Center
The Austin History Center is the local history collection of the Austin Public Library and the city's historical archive, located at 810 Guadalupe Street in Austin, Texas, United States. It is regarded as one of the best such facilities in the United States. The building opened as the official Austin Public Library in 1933 and served as the main library until 1979, when library functions moved to the John Henry Faulk Library, a newer facility next door. Its site, which overlooks one of four public squares platted in Austin in 1839, was obtained from the Texas Legislature in 1913 for construction of a public library. The Italian renaissance structure completed in 1933, is considered to be the most prominent public work of Austin native Hugo Kuehne, founding dean of the University of Texas School of Architecture. The building also contains work by several Austin craftsmen, including ironworker Fortunat Wiegl, wood-carver Peter Mansbendel, and fresco artist Harold "Bubi" Jessen. The Austin History Center celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2005. As of 2008 it houses thousands of documents, photographs, maps, artifacts, and personal histories. It features special exhibits and speakers on a regular basis. The historic library building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 6, 1993. A Texas Historical Commission marker placed in front of the library identifies it as a Texas Historic Landmark recorded in 1993.