New African American Austin Self-Guided Tour

We’re excited to announce our latest self-guided mobile and audio tour, African American Austin, developed by the Education Committee with the African American Cultural Heritage District, and co-sponsored by the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau. The new tour features twelve historic sites throughout East Austin, including Rosewood Courts, Downs Field, and the works of Modernist architect John S. Chase, FAIA. Locals and visitors alike can trace their way through historic sites of importance to our city’s African American community, many of which were developed after Austin’s discriminatory 1928 comprehensive plan essentially relocated all non-white residents east of today’s 1-35. The tour is rich in history, both cultural and architectural, so make sure to thank our stellar Education Committee members Sarah Marshall, Maddie Clites, Josh Conrad, and Rebekah Dobrasko for making it possible.

Unlike our previous tours, this one is supported by Otocast, a new mobile app platform. Otocast offers the same audio, image, and information-based features as our existing Historic Austin Tour Apps 1 and 2, yet is compatible with all smart phone operating systems and doesn’t require costly updates. It currently offers over twenty arts-related tours across thirteen cities ranging from “Public Artwalk Dallas,” supported by the Business Council for the Arts, to “Monuments and Memory,” supported by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Otocast is unique in that it recommends points of interest based on the user’s location – if someone in Austin opens the app, they’ll see all tours based in Austin, followed by tours in Dallas, etc. Preservation Austin has worked with Otocast Founder and CEO Eric Feinstein to upload our Congress Avenue, East 6th Street, Old West Austin, Iconic Music Venues, and Tejano Trail tours as well, so these will be available both in Otocast and their current app platforms. Otocast is free and can be downloaded through iTunes or Google Play. Enjoy!