Texas over Time: The Alamo, San Antonio

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.

Alamo

  • The original mission was built in 1718 as a Spanish mission by Father Antonio de San Buenaventura y Olivares but was then leveled in 1724 by a hurricane. The mission was moved to the present site and rebuilt in 1744 but collapsed due to structural flaws in 1762. It was rebuilt using the same material but never completed.
  • The building was supposed to have been three stories tall, with bell towers on each side, with a dome as a roof. The four arches to support the dome were completed, but later demolished to fortify for the battle. Protective walls were put around it in 1758 to ward off Native American violence. Secularized in 1793, it became known as simply Pueblo Valero.
  • In 1803, a Spanish cavalry unit (the Second Company of San Carlos de Alamo de Parras) occupied the pueblo, from which the present-day name of “the Alamo” is derived.
  • In 1836, the famous battle occurred, pitting Santa Anna’s 1,500 troops against the between 188-250 Texians in the Alamo. After Santa Anna ended up losing the war two months later, he ordered General Andrade to demolish the fort. He burned down the cannon ramp, long barracks, and most of the Galera.
  • In the years between the fire and the US Army coming, locals would use bricks from the Alamo as building materials, when needed. The humped parapet that is so iconic today was added when the Army remodeled the Alamo for use as a local headquarters.
  • When the Army abandoned the Alamo in 1878, it was given back to the Catholic Church. A businessman named Hugo Grenet almost immediately bought the restored long barrack building for $20,000, which he then converted into a store. The church building was given over to the State of Texas in 1883, who then transferred ownership to the City of San Antonio. The long barracks was sold to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas in 1905. The store that Hugo Grenet had built on top of the site of the old long barracks was demolished in 1911, and the original wall was restored. The Alamo is presently a museum administered by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and the Texas General Land Office.

Thompson, Frank T. The Alamo: A Cultural History. Dallas, Tex.: Taylor Trade Pub., 2001. Print

Check out our Flickr set to see these and other images of the Alamo, which primarily came from our General-San Antonio-Alamo photo files. GIF and factoids by student archives assistant Braxton Ray.

Texas over Time: Bridge Street, Waco

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.

Bridge Street, Waco

 Photo dates: 1872, 1953, 1967, undated (prior to 1968)

  • Named due to being across First Street from the Waco suspension bridge
  • Earned the nickname “Rat Row” (until the fire) due to the increasingly dilapidated state of the wooden buildings
  • Fire swept through in 1871, destroying all of the wooden frame buildings, which were replaced by stone ones
  • Traditionally the center of the west-Waco minority-owned business community
  • Took a major hit from the 1953 Waco tornado
  • All buildings on street demolished in 1968 as part of Urban Renewal

Sources:

Menchu, Carlos. 162 Years of Waco, 1824-1986: Focus upon Downtown Waco, Texas. Lubbock: Texas Tech U, 1986. Print.

Smith, JB. “From Bridge Street to the Square.” Waco Tribune-Herald 22 Sept. 2005: n. pag. Print.

“Bridge Street: 1849 – 1890.” Baylor University Institute for Oral History. Web. 24 July 2014. <http://www.baylor.edu/oralhistory/index.php?id=32190>.

“Bridge Street: 1900-1950.” Baylor University Institute for Oral History. Web. 24 July 2014. <http://www.baylor.edu/oralhistory/index.php?id=32207>.

See the individual photos in our Bridge Street Flickr set.

GIF and factoids by Braxton Ray, archives student assistant

Texas over Time: Ferrell Center, Baylor University, Waco

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.

Ferrell Center construction, Baylor University

Baylor University–Marketing and Communications–Baylor Photography–Ferrell Center construction, 1987-1988

  • Built because of Baylor’s desire to have a large-capacity multi-use events facility.
  • Originally slated for construction in the site of the current Baylor Sciences Building, ground breaking on the present location took place in 1987, and was completed in 1988.
  • Named after Charles Robert Ferrell, a former Baylor student who was killed in a car accident in 1967.
  • Notable speakers at the Ferrell Center include Bill Cosby, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Lady Margaret Thatcher, First Lady Barbara Bush, President Barack Obama, and General Colin Powell.
  • Currently houses the men’s and women’s basketball teams and hosts commencement exercises every year.

Sources:
White, Dana. “Fund-raiser featuring Bill Cosby sold out.” The Lariat 3 Sept. 2002: Web. Fiedler, Randy. “Ferrell Center turns 25.” Baylor Magazine Fall 2013: Web.

Check out our Flickr set to see the individual images (with better color quality) that comprise this GIF. 

GIF and factoids by Braxton Ray, archives student assistant

Texas over Time: Baylor Female Building at Independence

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.

Columns-w

      • The Baylor Female Building was built for Baylor University in 1857 by contractor John P. Collins and was three stories tall, with features including classrooms, an auditorium, a library, and recreation rooms.
Baylor Female Building
Baylor Female College, 1884
      • The building underwent structural repair in 1877 and continued to host Baylor students until 1886, when Baylor Female College (as the female department had been known since receiving its own charter in 1866), moved to Belton, Texas, and ultimately became the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. (1886 also was when Baylor University joined with Waco University.)
      • After Baylor Female College left, the building continued to be used as an academic building by the now defunct William Carey Crane Male and Female Colleges until the schools were renamed Binford University, and eventually closed altogether in 1897.
      • In the early half of the twentieth century, the neglected building became victim to a fire which gutted the building and hastened its demise. Soon, all that remained were the columns we see today (which have been restored a few times).
Independence columns, 1952
“Admiring bronze plaque installed on the restored columns of the old administration building of female department of Baylor at Independence, left to right: Dr. Gordon Singleton, President Mary Hardin-Baylor College, Belton; Judge Royston Crane of Sweetwater, Dr. W. R. White, President Baylor University, Waco; Judge E. E. Townes, Houston, V.P. Baylor Board of Trustees”
    • Starting in 2001, the columns were made a part of Baylor’s Line Camp experience, where incoming students are taken to the site and walk under the arch of the columns, thus symbolically joining the Baylor Line.
    • Baylor at Independence is now jointly overseen by Baylor University and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.

See our Flickr set on Baylor at Independence for these and other images of the old building on Academy Hill.

Sources:

Murray, Lois Smith. Baylor at Independence. Waco, Tex.: Baylor University Press, 1972. Print.

Dunn, Betty L. 1889: Baylor Campus at Independence Becomes a ‘Colored’ Catholic Orphanage & School. 2014. Print.

White, Michael A. History of Baylor University, 1845-1861. Waco, Tex.: Texian Press, 1968. Print.

“A Visit to Independence.” Baylor Magazine, Summer 2011: Vol. 9 Issue 4. Web.

Images: General photo files–Baylor–Buildings–Independence Campus

GIF and factoids by Braxton Ray, archives student assistant

Texas over Time: Lover's Leap, Cameron Park, Waco

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.

Lover's Leap, Cameron ParkLover’s Leap, Cameron Park, Waco; undated photos and postcards

  • Lover’s Leap was originally part of land purchased by the Cameron family in 1917 to be donated to Camp MacArthur.
  • This area of the park was named after the legend of Waco Indian princess Wah-Wah-Tee and her Apache lover, whose love was looked down on by the rest of the Waco tribe. As the story goes, they were determined to be together eternally and jumped off the cliffs together at what is now Lover’s Leap.
  • The incline of the road to get to Lover’s Leap is so steep that Model Ts had to be driven up it in reverse, as they did not have the correct gear otherwise.

Factoids from Mark E. Firmin’s excellent book, William Cameron Park: A Centennial History, 1910-2010.

The images above can be found in our general photo and postcard files. See our Cameron Park Flickr set to get a closer look at these images and a few other historic and scenic views of the park.

GIF and factoids by Braxton Ray, archives student assistant

Texas over Time: Old Main, Baylor University

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.Old Main, Baylor University

  • Designed by architect William Lamour and completed in 1887, Old Main was the first new building at the new site for Baylor University after it moved from Independence. The original building had 17 classrooms and 24 offices.
  • Baylor students used to conspire to get on the roof of Old Main to put their class’ graduating year in large numbers on the roof and spires. However, erasing previous class’ efforts was not easy! The building’s roof became littered with fading numbers from years past.
  • The iconic Old Main spires had to be removed due to damage from the 1953 Waco tornado (as seen in the second photo above). They were not added back onto Old Main until a 1970s restoration. Before the decision was made to restore the building, there were considerations of tearing it down.

Photos date to approximately 1949, late 1950s, and 1990s and can be found in our Old Main photo files, which have been digitized and are available online in our ever-growing digital collection of Texas photos. See our Flickr set to get a closer look at the images above and a few photos of the spires being restored to the building.

Texas over Time: Brooks Hall construction, Baylor University

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.

Brooks Hall ConstructionBrooks Hall, Baylor University

  • The fifth floor of Brooks Hall was rumored to be haunted by “violin music, a phantom in a top hat and cloak, and inexplicable candlelight moving around.”
  • The original cost to build Brooks Hall was $365,530 (or roughly $4,690,000) in today’s dollars.
  • Up until 1987, Brooks Hall had no interior hallways. Each suite opened into a stairwell. This was intended to make the building more fireproof, more efficient with ventilation, and reduce noise. It was redesigned in 1987 for fire safety and practicality.
  • When it became implausible to renovate and restore Brooks Hall, Baylor decided to construct Brooks Village. Architects took trips to Oxford and Cambridge in search of the new residential community’s architectural inspiration. The architects also used elements from buildings at Harvard and Yale.

Sources

Baylor-Buildings-Brooks Hall. General photo files, The Texas Collection.

Buildings: Brooks Hall. Baylor University Subject File. The Texas Collection.

Gif and factoids prepared by Timothy Brestowski, student library assistant

Here’s a Flickr set that includes the images used to compiled this animation (plus a few more of Baylor students and the campus over time), should you want to examine each photo individually.

Texas over Time: Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas, Waco

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.

MasonicGrandLodgeGIF

Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas construction (8th Street side), 1948-1949

  • The Waco Masonic Lodge, also known as The Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas, is the headquarters for the Texas Freemasons. It is located at 715 Columbus Avenue. The original headquarters were in Houston but were moved to Waco during the early 1900s.
  • Many noted figures in Texas and Baylor history were freemasons, including Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, R.E.B. Baylor, George W. Truett, and many of Baylor’s presidents.
  • The building is intended to be modeled after King Solomon’s temple.

Here’s a Flickr set of the images used to compiled this animation (plus a few more of the Masonic Grand Lodge), should you want to examine each individually. Most of the pictures are scanned from negatives in the Fred Marlar photographic collection. Enjoy!

Gif and factoids prepared by Timothy Brestowski, student library assistant

Texas over Time: Austin Avenue, Waco

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.

Austin Avenue, Waco, TexasAustin Avenue: 1906, 1908, 1914, 1940s, 1950s

  • 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.

Sources:

Postcards:

  1. Raphael Tuck and Sons’. 1906.
  2. The Rotograph Co. 1908.
  3. The Acmegraph Co. 1914.
  4. B-W News Agency. 1940s.
  5. 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.

Texas over Time: Waco Hall Construction

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.

Waco Hall construction

  • In 1922, Carroll Chapel and Library had a fire that gutted the building. The library was rebuilt, but without the chapel, so Baylor held its chapel services in other facilities. As the student body grew, it became increasingly difficult to find an adequate space.
  • Due to such building limitations and financial challenges, by 1928 Baylor was considering a move to Dallas—the city had offered $1.5 million in funds and land. In an effort to keep Baylor in Waco, the citizens of Waco pledged $1 million, conditional on the Texas Baptists also pledging $1 million.
  • The first $350,000 was to be raised quickly for the construction of a chapel. Just three weeks later Waco had raised $400,000.
  • Baylor officials broke ground for Waco Hall on June 25, 1929. Work commenced quickly and on May 27, 1930, at commencement, Waco Hall was officially dedicated and named in honor of the city that made the building possible.
  • The building looks a little different now—Roxy Grove Hall (the west wing) was added to the building in 1955, and the east wing was completed in 1965.

Sources

Fred Gildersleeve album, Waco Hall construction. Featured photos dated October 23, November 21, December 5, and December 26, 1929.

“Waco Hall Narrative” by David Eckenrode. Buildings–Waco Hall, Baylor University Subject File.