THE SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
VOL. LXIV JULY, 1960 No. 1
Cass ilbert's Old Zibary I uildiH:
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I/istory enter, 1910-1960
AUGUST WATKINS HARRIS
AN ARCHITECT'S NAME appears upon a cornerstone primarily
as an acknowledgment of his responsibility, and sometimes
becomes a target of blame, but seldom does it become a
part of a legend such as the possessive caption of this article would
denote. In the minds of its present habitants, it is not alone the
Old Library Building, nor is it only the home of the Eugene C.
Barker Texas History Center, but it is glorified in the appellation
above given, Cass Gilbert's Old Library Building. And therein
lay the challenge of the story. What series of human events
brought it to its existence, and why is it so remembered?
When the writer was diverted into the field of historic preser-
vation some years ago, his urgent interest was that the state's
historic structures be recorded, at least, in technically accurate
form. Inevitably there entered the examination and analysis of
the peculiar materials indigeneous to the locality, and inescapably
there followed a search into the skills available and the manner
of their application. All of this would have been Dead Sea fruit
were it not related with a study of the times, the trends, and the
people who were the human instruments directed by and direct-
ing these forces, the whole of which has engulfed him in the tale
of Austin, the seat of government of Texas. Intimately interwoven
in the narrative is this story of Cass Gilbert's Old Library Build-
ing, the germinal antecedents of which appear in the original
authorization for the establishment of the capital city.
Before exploring the realm of fact and legend surrounding
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/. Accessed November 25, 2015.