Texas Blind, Deaf, and Orphan School Historic Structures Documentation Records
An Inventory of the Collection
The Texas Blind, Deaf, and Orphan School, a state institution for African American children, was located on a hundred-acre tract on Bull Creek Road between 38th and 45th streets in Austin, Texas. It was established as the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Institute for Colored Youth in 1887 by the Texas Eighteenth Legislature. The initial campus consisted only of an eleven-room residence, but in 1888 a new two-story brick building was added to provide more classroom and dormitory space. In 1919 the school was placed under the jurisdiction of the newly created Texas Board of Control. The Main Building (Administration building) was built in 1923-1924 by C. H. Page, Sr. Various additions and renovations took place during the next several decades; by the 1940s the school had twelve brick buildings and one stone building, including dormitories, classrooms, hospital, superintendent's residence, and dining room. Instruction at the accredited high school included both academic and practical subjects with a focus on industry. Among the courses offered were manual labor, broom making, mattress making, shoemaking and repair, tailoring, cleaning and pressing, cooking, sewing, rug making, and other handicrafts. When the State Colored Orphans' Home was combined with the institute in 1943, the name of the facility was changed to Texas Blind, Deaf, and Orphan School. In 1960 the school moved to 601 Airport Boulevard. The original Bull Creek site was acquired by the Texas Board of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, and in 1988 the State Department of Highways and Public Transportation (now Texas Department of Transportation) was deeded the land.
Source: Adapted from James W. Markham, "TEXAS BLIND, DEAF, AND ORPHAN SCHOOL," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/kct17), accessed November 15, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
The collection contains materials about the Texas Blind, Deaf and Orphan School Bull Creek site created by Melissa Sternberg for a Historic Structures Documentation project for a historic preservation class (ARC 386M) taught by Wayne Bell at The University of Texas School of Architecture in 1993. Included are photographs, a completed National Register of Historic Places registration form, a Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) form, and a lengthy "structural narrative" that documents the history of the School and provides an architectural description. Also included is an oral history recording and transcription of an interview conducted with Roger Williams, the Managing Architect at the Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Real Estate Division discussing the future plans for the former Texas Blind, Deaf, and Orphan School site.
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The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.
Texas Blind, Deaf, and Orphan School Historic Structures Documentation Records (AR.2013.035). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/1992/064
Donation Date: 2013
Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults in 2013.
Detailed Description of the Collection