Austin’s famous Sixth Street bar district, also known as “Dirty Sixth,” has more to offer than booze and tourists. Look past the party and you’ll find one of the city’s most historic districts, with historical markers on nearly every building. Most of the buildings in the area date back to the 1800s, when Sixth Street was an important commercial district for the city.
The street held particular importance to Austin’s minority community during times of segregation, a period of history reflected on the markers for the Rhambo Building, Maroney-Isaacs Building, Kriesle Building, and Randerson-Lundell Building — all traditionally minority-owned businesses, with black, hispanic, Lebanese, Jewish, and Chinese-owned stores giving this area of Sixth a multiracial character by the early 1900s.
So, next time you find yourself on Austin’s most famous bar crawl, try crawling to a few historical markers — you’d be surprised to discover the past lives of some of these buildings. The map below covers most of the markers for this stretch of Sixth. For a closer look, click “View in Google Maps” and select the street view option.