Preserving east Austin's rich history with Instagram archive

Preserving east Austin's rich history

Remembering the people and places you knew and seeing others for the first time are the moments that make self-proclaimed "library nerd" Alan Garcia tick.

Last summer, he created the Instagram account @ATX_Barrio_Archive to chronicle East Austin's past. It began with shots of his own family.

"My dad worked in restaurants, my mom worked in the hotel industry," Garcia said. "So it was just a lot of photos with their coworkers."

With submissions from followers, it grew to include photos of Austin landmarks that are long gone.

Garcia described the photos, adding, "A nightclub that was a really famous nightclub back in the day, Charlie's Playhouse in the 60's," and "This is the Hillside Pharmacy structure that was opened by U.S. Young the first African American pharmacist in Austin. The structure's still there, the owner kept the name in the legacy of Dr. Young".

As part of Garcia's mission to unlock the past, you can find some of his collection in this little corner of the Carver branch of the Austin Public Library, an east Austin landmark.

"What their ancestors did in the community, a lot of that stuff is unseen," Garcia lamented.

That was true for a group whose roots run deep here, the Original L.C. Anderson High School Alumni Association.

KVUE found them meeting in the library today to help preserve their school, just steps from Garcia's display, and eager to peruse yearbooks from the past.

"It's been very touching. It's growing every day to see how people are reconnecting with this heritage that for awhile, has been really neglected," Garcia added.

One of the members added "When you have those markers they help us to remember. It's always a plus in preserving history. Because its a living history not a dead history."

It's one Garcia hopes to preserve for generations to come.

Check out the Instagram here

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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