A little about Downtown
Although it maintains a laid-back vibe, Downtown Austin doesn’t slow down. By day, well-dressed business folk walk with a purpose between its capitol building, towering condominium complexes, and sophisticated banks. As the sun sets, new energy emanates from Downtown’s countless bars, clubs, and music venues as live bands turn up their amps along 6th Street. Galleries, boutiques, and record stores round out this neighborhood’s harmonious repertoire.
The history of Downtown
The story of Downtown Austin began with the Republic of Texas and President Mirabeau B. Lamar in the 1830s. Lamar tapped Edwin Waller to direct the planning and construction of the new town. Waller chose a site on a bluff above the Colorado River, nestled between Shoal Creek to the west and Waller Creek to the east. Waller laid the new city in a simple grid pattern on a 640-acre (or one square-mile plot) with 14 blocks running in both directions. Much of this original design is still intact in downtown Austin today. One grand avenue, which Lamar named "Congress," cut through the center of town from Capitol Square down to the Colorado River. The streets running north-south (paralleling Congress) were named for Texas rivers with their order of placement matching the order of rivers on the Texas state map. The east-west streets were named after trees native to the region, despite the fact that Waller had recommended using numbers (they were eventually changed to numbers in 1884).
Businesses in Downtown
Here is a collection of Downtown businesses. Clicking on the thumbnail image, or the blue "View Member" will take you to that businesses page. We've included some jump links so that you can easily navigate to different categories of businesses. Those, can be found directly below as icons. Or, there is a list of categories in the menu bar.