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The History Of 6 Street


In every city there is one street that cannot be missed. It is the place to shop, the place to eat, the place to be and the place to be seen. It has everything from chic art galleries to popular bars to live music to quiet cafes. In Los Angeles, itís Rodeo Drive. In New York, itís 5th Avenue; and in Austin, it was 6 Street.

Six Street is one of the first streets created when the city of Austin was laid out. Running east to west, it was named, as all east to west streets were, after a tree: the pecan tree. For years it was known as Pecan Street. Beautiful houses lined the road, houses that now add a historical air to the popular scene. But it wasnít always popular. Six Street saw its years of ups and downs, the first and one of the greatest ups occurring in the 1970s.

It was in 1975 that the first Six Street blues club opened. Clifford Antone opened his nightclub at the corner of 6 and Brazos. Suddenly, a street that had been nearly deserted and considered dangerous for years was a popular nighttime hangout. University of Texas students frequented the club and bands like Paul Ray and the Cobras, featuring radio jock Paul Ray found a home on stage. From there, the music scene escalated. Already The Ritz had been hosting live music, and then Estherís Pool, Maggie Maeís and Steamboat followed suit. Six Street was officially the place for good songs, good times and cheap beer.

Unfortunately, that scene didnít last for long. As quickly as the live music moved in, it also moved out. Six Street became the place where frat kids went to find dates for the evening or at least the next hour. The only thing that remained from the 1970s hey days was the cheap beer. Musicians found other venues and tourists other hot spots. Today, the situation remains, although there is hope for improvement. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night young kids cram the bars hoping to find some fun, some alcohol and some friends. During the day the streets are crowded with trucks and cars, people looking to shop and people looking to eat. It is a pattern, a cyclical one, but one that the people of Austin are trying to break.

A study was conducted in 2003 to determine how best to turn around 6 Street. It is, after all, a goldmine for tourism. It is a place that can be once again the Rodeo Drive and 5th Avenue of Austin. The goal is to bring back not just the twenty-somethings but those in their thirties and forties, as well. It will be a change that requires effort, but thanks to places that are already there - Gallery Soco, The State Theatre, Estherís Follies, Friends and many, many more - it wonít be an effort without promise.

Six Street was once the place to be and it will be again. So the next time you are in Austin, stop by and see whatís changed; see what one of the first streets has done to become and remain one of the last great streets in the country.

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  Published Date - November 1 2008
  Total Views - 340
  Total Votes - 3
  Average Rating - 1
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  Mr. Joe Cline
Joe Cline writes articles for Austin real estate agent. Other articles written by the author related to Round Rock real estate agent and Austin Texas Realtor can be found on the net.
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