Foundation and Growth: Images of The University's Early Years

     
1858 map of Austin, Texas showing the planned future location of a state university for Texas. cn09271   1858 map of Austin, Texas showing the planned future location of a state university for Texas. CN 09271

In 1838 the Congress of the Republic of Texas designated the city of Austin as the capital of Texas. The act establishing the new seat of government also provided that land be reserved for specified public buildings and institutions, including a university. When the land was surveyed, an “out lot” of forty acres north of the proposed capitol building was labeled “College Hill” and designated as the future location of a state university for Texas.
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Temporary Capitol where University classes were conducted in 1883. CN 00717

A temporary Capitol building, located at the southwest corner of Congress Avenue and Eleventh Street, was hastily constructed in 1883 to house state government offices while the magnificent new pink granite Capitol was being built. University classes were conducted in this building from September through December 1883 during The University's first year of existence. In January 1884 classes were held in the newly completed west wing of the Main Building on the UT campus. The temporary Capitol building was destroyed by fire in 1889.
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  Temporary Capitol where University classes were conducted in 1883. cn00717
     
UT campus as seen from the capitol, ca. 1894. cn09272.   UT campus as seen from the capitol, ca. 1894. CN 09272.

This photograph, taken from the Capitol building sometime before 1895, offers a view of the sparse, University campus and a portion of Austin directly south of the Forty Acres. University buildings that can be seen include the Old Main Building (by then consisting of the west wing and the center section that contained the auditorium( and the Chemical Laboratory (constructed in 1891). Guadalupe Street can be seen on the western edge of the campus.
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