This project is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. The map and photos are courtesy of Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.Okay
Austin’s Mexico: A Forgotten Downtown Neighborhood showcases the culturally significant Mexican American community in downtown Austin, a project of Mexic-Arte Museum in conjunction with the Austin History Center & Photography Collection.
In the 1870’s, Austin’s early Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans created a vibrant business and cultural community just west of downtown Congress Avenue to the banks of the Shoal Creek. Republic Square Park, then known as Mexican Park, was the cultural heart of the area.
Life was not always easy for many of the Mexicans in the area. Mexicans struggled with inadequate housing, poor sanitation, lack of city services, and racial prejudice. The downtown Mexican community moved to Austin’s eastside in the 1930’s, largely a result of actions taken after 1928 City Plan for Austin.