Texas has changed quite a bit over the years, as is readily seen in our vast photograph collection. To help bring some of those changes to life, we’ve created a “Texas over Time” series of gifs that will illustrate the construction and renovations of buildings, changing aerial views, and more. Our collections are especially strong on Waco and Baylor images, but look for some views beyond the Heart of Texas, too.
- On May 11, 1953, a F5 tornado hit downtown Waco. The damages were severe: 196 businesses and factories were destroyed, 217 sustained major damage, and 179 sustained lesser damages. Over half of the 114 people who died were in a single city block bordered by Austin and Franklin Avenues and 4th and 5th Streets. Read more here and here.
- In 1970, Austin Avenue was remodeled to serve as a pedestrian mall. It was not a success, and in 1985, the mall sidewalk was ripped up and two-way traffic was restored to downtown. One can still see remnants of the mall downtown and can feel the difference in the road going down Austin Avenue.
- The ALICO building, which was built in 1910 off Austin Avenue, was once the tallest building in the Southwest. The ALICO building is still open today and holds the headquarters for the American-Amicable Life Insurance Company of Texas and houses many other tenants.
By popular demand, here is a Flickr set of the individual images used to create this animation. We’ll include this in each future “Texas over Time” post.
- Raphael Tuck and Sons’. 1906.
- The Rotograph Co. 1908.
- The Acmegraph Co. 1914.
- B-W News Agency. 1940s.
- B-W News Agency. Late 1950s.
Waco, Texas: Streets: Austin Avenue. Vertical file, The Texas Collection, Baylor University.
Gif and factoids prepared by Timothy Brestowski, student library assistant
Name of insurance company in ALICO building corrected 2/12/14.