OT: Another Austin Music Venue Bites the Dust.

This is all that's left of the Austin Music Hall. Future site of some soaring, anonymous residential tower for people desperate to live downtown.

The Austin Music Hall was originally built in 1995 and then almost completely re-built in a remodel in 2007. What they ended up with was a building with pretty miserable acoustics but a huge bar and a convenient venue for lots of downtown shows. A cheaper alternative to the ACL stage at the W Hotel. 

Now, less than ten years after the multi-million dollar remodel, the building is just a pile of twisted metal and semi-powdered cement. Another downtown half acre sold for enormous amounts of money and ready to host yet another too tall residence town. Kinda sad, kinda not. It was never a great venue  in which to actually "hear" music. The square main hall was an audio nightmare (as we found out early on when staging a musical there) and the parking in the area was/is pretty bad. But president Obama visited here last year and I can't count how many corporations used the venue, in conjunction with then popular, Lyle Lovett, for their celebrations of success in the late 1990's and again, more recently. Hapless photographer with ear plugs in tow...

Just noting the passing as part of yet another Austin transition: from tradition and music to just profit. 
Could be worse. We could be mired in a great depression. I guess we've got to count our lucky stars. 

Here is what the Austin Music Hall looked like just before it came tumbling down.


  1. The upscale apartment building boom is the new urban blight. Barely affordable apartments or condos sitting on top of your various McBusiness franchises. It's happening even in Duluth, Minnesota.

  2. Sauk Center, Minnesota, the model for Gopher Prairie in Sinclair Lewis's Main Street, has decided to tear down the Sinclair Lewis Visitor Center because the property is too valuable for such use. In commiseration, I have started reading Main Street for the first time, and am discovering lots of Donald Trumps among the characters. Sinclair Lewis also wrote Babbitt.

  3. Sydney as well, most of the small venues are gone and the Entertainment Centre knocked down earlier this year. How many over priced apartments high rise apartments do we really need? In our city we desperately need housing for ordinary people who work here and for people who haven't got jobs at all.

  4. Looks like it's always a good idea to photograph you environment. We never know when it will be gone for good.

  5. Developers can't go out, so they go up. Cities need the revenue and don't get me started on what I think about developers.
    My daughter and her husband live in Austin and I enjoy the visit. Mostly. My family is trying to convince me to move there but seriously, it's becoming more and more like Houston, where I live now. Crowded, lousy roads and traffic, bland, anonymous buildings and cookie cutter shopping areas all trying to look hip and upscale. Where's the incentive in that. Like Peter said, shoot now, you never know...


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