I’m still at Republic Square today, after featuring a photo looking southeast in yesterday’s post. This is the view west. The relatively new federal courthouse dominates the view, though you can see The Independent, Austin’s tallest tower, to the left. More than anything, I really like the giant Live Oak tree, which somewhat softens the hard edges of the courthouse.
At the turn of the century, Intel was building an office building on this spot. It was a momentous occasion to lure a major tech company to build their $124-million chip design center in the middle of downtown, instead of the usual suburbs. The dot-com bust scratched their plans, however.
Construction on a four-story concrete skeleton came to an abrupt halt in March 2001. There, it was a blight in downtown Austin for years. A reminder of the tech bust and a failed attempt to bring in more high profile companies. The skeleton stood there until 2007 when it was demolished, and this new courthouse was built in its place.
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