The Austin History Center's mission is to procure, preserve, present and provide the historical records that make up Austin's unique story.
Austin's Republic Park is an interesting mix of old and new. It is one of Austin's oldest parks and one of four spaces set aside for parks in the original plans for the city. After years of being underused, it has recently been renovated and is enjoying a new life as a popular community space.
In Austin's earliest days, the park was used for real estate auctions. The trees here became known as the "Auction Oaks".
In the 1870s, this area became home to Austin's rapidly-growing Mexican American population. The park became known for its annual celebrations of Diez y Seis de Septiembre, the holiday commemorating Mexico's (and Texas') independence from Spain. In the early 1900s, three Spanish-speaking churches were built nearby.
As the 20th century progressed, the park was used less, and in the 1960s it became a parking lot. However, in the 1970s, Austin organizations began planning its restoration, though it would take decades to realize. It was then that the name "Republic Park" was chosen to honor the Republic of Texas.
After the efforts of several organizations and volunteers, Republic Park is a modern and inviting space, overlooked by a statue of a bird. It hosts a variety of events and is becoming once again a favorite place for Austin residents to gather.
Cover photo: jacobwritescopy via Instagram.