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How Big is Austin

Austin, the capital of Texas and the seat of Travis County, is situated at the convergence of the Colorado River and the Balcones Escarpment in the south-central region of the state.

Located approximately 80 miles (130 km) northeast of San Antonio, Austin extends its influence to nearby areas, encompassing Hays, Williamson, Bastrop, and Caldwell counties, along with the cities of Round Rock and San Marcos. With its official incorporation dating back to 1874, Austin had a population of 790,390 in 2010, which expanded to 961,855 in 2020. The Austin–Round Rock–Georgetown Metro Area recorded a population of 2,283,371.

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1. History

Initially known as Waterloo, Austin was a riverside village situated in a region once inhabited by Tonkawa and Comanche indigenous peoples. In 1839, scouts identified Austin as the permanent capital for the Republic of Texas, replacing the original name with Stephen F. Austin in honor of the father of the republic. By 1840, Austin was formally incorporated, boasting 856 residents. During a period of potential Mexican invasion in 1842, the government relocated to Houston; however, Austin’s determined citizens preserved it as the capital during the so-called Archive War, forcefully retaining government records.

The city regained its status as the state capital in 1845 when Texas was admitted to the United States. The striking pink granite State Capitol, completed in 1888 and modeled after the U.S. Capitol, replaced an earlier structure destroyed by fire in 1881.

As the Houston and Texas Central Railroad entered the city, coupled with the construction of a permanent bridge across the Colorado River in 1871, Austin evolved into a flourishing trade center for ranchers and farmers. An unfortunate flood in 1900 led to widespread destruction, including the bridge’s collapse. The early 20th century saw the harnessing of the river for flood control and power, facilitating industrial development.

The 1990s marked a period of tremendous growth in Austin, largely driven by high-technology industries such as those you can still find thriving today on Craigslist Austin.

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2. The Contemporary City

Today, Austin thrives as a hub for businesses, research and development, and manufacturing, particularly in sectors such as computers, computer equipment, semiconductors, telecommunications, software, and biotechnology. The city is also a critical contributor to government, education, and healthcare services. Railroads are pivotal in trade, responsible for transporting a significant portion of international cargo to global ports. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, established on the site of a former U.S. Air Force base in 1999, enhances the city’s connectivity.

Austin’s population is a mosaic of diverse ethnic backgrounds, with less than half of its residents of European descent. Over one-third of the population comprises Hispanic residents, while African Americans and Asian Americans each represent slightly less than one-tenth of the total population.

The city’s educational landscape, including the University of Texas, founded in 1881 and home to its main campus, has played a crucial role in Austin’s growth. Other educational institutions, such as Huston-Tillotson College (1875), St. Edward’s University (1885), Concordia University at Austin (1926), and Austin Community College (1972), contribute to the city’s intellectual vibrancy.

See also: Most Popular Dress for Less Stores in Austin TX

Austin exhibits its unique charm at dusk, with sections of the central city illuminated by “artificial moonlight” emanating from mercury vapor lamps atop 17 towering 165-foot (50-meter) tall towers, first erected in 1894. The city features several cultural gems, including the O. Henry Home and Museum, located in O. Henry’s residence from 1893 to 1895. The Elisabet Ney Museum, situated in her former studio, houses a collection of Ney’s sculptures, including life-size figures of Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston displayed in the national and state capitols.

The French Legation Museum (1841) was constructed by French chargé d’affaires Alphonse Dubois de Saligny to represent the French government in the Republic of Texas. The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum (1971) is situated on the University of Texas campus, offering an extensive archive of documents and memorabilia from Johnson’s public career. The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum (2001) captivates visitors with its exhibits on the state’s rich history. Art enthusiasts can explore the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, which houses a remarkable collection of Latin American art, as well as other cultural venues like the Austin Museum of Art, the Mexic-Arte Museum, and the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum.

Austin is celebrated for its vibrant music scene, transitioning from its roots in country and blues music to include diverse genres like rock, folk, jazz, and Latino music. With over 100 live music venues concentrated in the Warehouse District and along Sixth Street, the city hosts a renowned public television series, Austin City Limits, which showcases musical talent. Austin also serves as a favored location for movie production and is home to numerous artists in the music and film industry.

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Annual festivals in Austin celebrate the city’s diverse ethnic groups, including Mexicans, African Americans, Germans, and French. The Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo takes place every spring.

Austin’s Congress Avenue Bridge is famous for its population of Mexican free-tailed bats, drawing crowds to witness the hundreds of thousands of bats emerging from their roosts on summer nights. The city offers natural attractions such as Mount Bonnell, a vantage point rising to 785 feet (239 meters) with a 99-step climb to the top. Zilker Park, stretching along the river, houses a nature center, botanical gardens, and Barton Springs, a natural swimming pool.

McKinney Falls State Park lies in the southern part of the city, featuring unusual rock formations, caverns, and springs. The Hill Country west of Austin boasts charming small towns settled by predominantly central European immigrants in the 19th century and offers opportunities for recreational activities, including the Highland Lakes chain impounded by dams along the Colorado River. The region is adorned with remarkable rock outcrops, caverns, and springs.

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Kazan Aldrich

I used to be a pilot, but ended up being just a mediocre writer.

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