I was standing on the corner of 6th and Congress Avenue when I snapped this photograph. Unlike many of my Fuji GFX 50R photos, which I shoot on a tripod, this one is hand-held. I managed to squeeze four buildings — four facades of different vintages — into a modest 40mm equivalent frame.
On the corner, one of the first skyscrapers in Austin, the Littlefield building completed in 1910. Using the Beaux-Arts style, it’s one of the more beautiful downtown office buildings.
Next, to the left and heading north, we have the Aloft Element Hotel, which opened in 2017. The 32-story structure features 278 Aloft rooms and 144 Element rooms. I’m not sure how they are different, but there are two distinct hotel brands in one building.
Opening in 1924, we have the Stephen F. Austin Hotel, now called the Intercontinental Stephen F. Austin. As I recall, when I moved to Austin, the hotel was closed. In the late 1990s, it was fully renovated and opened as the Intercontinental, one of the few grand old hotels in Austin.
Finally, we have 823 Congress, a rather boring office building completed in 1970. I find the architecture from that period, particularly uninspiring. It has neither the pure Bauhaus aesthetic from the earlier days or none of the modern flourishes of today.
If you remember the Arboreal Texture photo from a week ago, I made that picture between the Stephen F. Austin and Aloft Element hotels.
I have a free monthly newsletter that’s perfect for busy people. Signup for the Newsletter to get the best of my posts, old and new, plus additional content not available anywhere else.