TABLE OF CONTENTS
Oliver B. Street Papers
A Inventory of the Collection
Oliver B. Street was born on February 22, 1910 in Austin, Texas to Andrew Street and Bessie Rose Ann Roberts Street. He attended Anderson High School, Sam Huston College in Austin and later Tuskegee College in Atlanta. In 1941, he married Maery Lou Young of Miami, Florida. In 1946, their son, Oliver B. Street II was born.
After graduating from Tuskegee College, Street opened his first shop in a rented space in one-half a building in the 1100 block of East 11th Street. Later he rented space at the corner of Curve and E. 11th Street. As business expanded he rented a building at the rear of the lot. The last location for Oliver B. Street Construction Company was at 924 E.11th Street.
During his 40 years as a builder and general contractor, he built a variety of structures including residences, churches, nursing homes, lodge halls, funeral homes, service stations and mini strip malls. He helped many low income families, who could not meet requirements of financial institutions, by building low-income homes. He also helped unskilled men to gain the experience needed to become successful in the building and general contracting trade. Street worked with architects such as John S. Chase, the first African American to graduate with a degree in architecture from the University of Texas. Finally, during a time when very few African Americans were known as business leaders, his work was recognized nationally and he was consulted on building projects outside the state of Texas.
Street was dedicated to community service and was an active member of the Better Business Bureau, The National Business League, The Capital City Lions Club, The NAACP, The East Austin Chamber of Commerce and numerous other community organizations.
In 2004, the Austin Revitalization Association, completed and opened two new retail and commercial buildings on East 11th Street, right across the street from where Mr. Street's offices once stood. In honor of his civic and business leadership, one of the two buildings was named after Mr. Street and as well as another business, civic and church leader, Deacon Walter J. Jones.
This collection highlights the business and social activities, as well as the achievements of Oliver B. Street. Biographical Information (1978-1981), offers a background history and an early resume for Mr. Street. Correspondence (1960-1987), contains general correspondence regarding his business and organizational involvement. Of specific interest is a thank you letter from Lady Bird Johnson about a reception held in her honor, given by Street; a letter from John Chase, the first African American licensed to practice architecture in the state of Texas, congratulating him on being awarded a building contract in Longview, Texas; and a letter written by Dr. Joseph Houchins regarding economic statistics on Negros for the Department of Commerce. Advertisements (undated), consist of advertisements used by Mr. Street in promoting his company. Honors and Awards (1972-2004, udated), contains various examples of awards bestowed on Mr. Street. Clippings (1940-2004, undated), consists of articles regarding Mr. Street's construction company and his involvement in organizations and clubs. The Scrapbook folders (1947, 1987, 1958, 1993, 2004, undated) contain photos and documents showing personal and business items as well as the dedication of the Street-Jones building.
Restrictions on Access
Open to all users.
Restrictions on Use
Maery L. Street
Oliver B. Street Papers (AR 2012.003). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/2012/005
Donation Date: January, 2012
Finding Aid created and encoded by Cynthia Evans in 2012.