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Driskill Hotel opens in Austin

December
20
1886

On this day in 1886, the Driskill Hotel opened in Austin. The hotel was one of the grandest in Texas, the meeting place of legislators, lobbyists, and the social leaders of Austin, and was the site of inaugural balls, elaborate banquets, receptions, and university dances and ceremonies. In 1884 the cattleman Jesse Lincoln Driskill purchased the half block bordered by Sixth, Seventh, and Brazos streets. Jasper N. Preston and Sons of Austin designed the original cream-colored brick and limestone building. The skylit dining room was the most elegant restaurant in Austin for many years. The Driskill had additional dining rooms for ladies and children, a ladies' entrance on Seventh Street, and, for the men, a large billiard room, a bar, and a barbershop. The Driskill was also the headquarters for swarms of journalists and radio and TV reporters during the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson.

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