For years when I visited 6th Street, architecture was furthest from my mind. I was (and still am) mesmerized by the colorful neon, both inside and out. Street photography was an addictive challenge. And I rarely visited during the daytime. However, during the pandemic, I documented the colorful murals during the daytime. It was really the first time I seriously looked at the historic buildings.
Austin does not have much historic fabric. The grundy bars of 6th Street and Congress Avenue are the few places where the old architecture remains. The pockets that are left are torn down for the new gleaming skyscrapers.
I’ve realized, however, that even at night. When the over-the-top bar color is stripped away. The architecture re-emerges. The beauty of these modest two-story structures shines through. Then you realize, through historical context, that Austin was once a frontier town.
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