Skyline Comparisons

See how dramatically the Austin skyline has transformed in 100 years

See how dramatically the Austin skyline has transformed in 100 years

Austin skyline night downtown
RentCafé provides 100 years of the Austin skyline. Photo by Stuart Seeger/Flickr

The iconic Austin skyline has undergone some pretty dramatic changes. In the past 100 years, the face of our city has been transformed by rapid growth.

To help visualize a century's worth of new buildings, the folks at RentCafé created these nifty time-lapse sliders. Below, you can explore Austin's skyline through photos courtesy Google Images, the Austin History Center, the Library of Congress, and the Austin American-Statesman.

Congress Avenue bridge
Our journey starts at the Congress Avenue bridge. Facing south in 1900 you would have seen the Texas State Capitol and a few low-rise buildings in the distance. The view is quite different now.

Congress Avenue between Sixth and Seventh Streets
Walk north down Congress Avenue to Seventh Street and catch this view of the Texas State Capitol, taken in 1900 and 2016. Note that the Paramount Theatre and the Stephen F. Austin hotel (built 1924) still stand.

Congress Avenue's Old Bakery & Emporium
The Old Bakery, built in 1876 and pictured here during the 1890s, was used as a bakery until 1936. It now serves as a visitor center and art gallery. The building is a registered national landmark.

Congress Avenue at the Texas State Capitol
Looking south from the Texas State Capitol you will find an uninterrupted view of Congress Avenue in both 1900 and 2015. As RentCafé points out, we've gone from "gas street lights, mule driven street cars" to "yellow cabs and lights."

This comparison of downtown Austin is perhaps the most shocking of the bunch, even though the photo was only taken in 1965.

University of Texas at Austin
An aerial view of the University of Texas gives you an idea of how much the college has grown in over 70 years. In 1940, the campus had plentiful green space.

UT Tower
The UT tower, shown here under construction in 1936, remains the centerpiece of the campus. The Littlefield Fountain just in front of the south lawn had been unveiled three years prior.

Memorial Stadium
The original War Memorial Stadium, built 1924, had seating for 27,000 football fans. Renovations to the already massive structure, now known as the Darrel K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, in 2009 bumped the capacity up to over 100,000.

Back in 1950 the I-35 thoroughfare was still under construction, as was the Hancock Center (picture here to the right). This south-facing view also gives us a glimpse of the ever-evolving downtown Austin.


The time-lapse images above are courtesy of RentCafé. For more, check out these comparisons of Austin between 2007-2014.