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Progress Report Austin : The Legends of Austin 2

Gordon Wilkison

Sound | 1962

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  •  Congress Avenue 
  •  Paramount Theatre 
  •  Moonlight towers 
  •  Goddess of Liberty 
  •  Texas A+M 
  •  Austin public high schools 
  •  Pease Elementary School 
  •  John T. Allen 
  •  Chisholm Trail, Peter Preston Ackley 
  •  Montopolis Bridge 
  •  Millett Opera House 
  •  6th street, Hennings building 
  •  F.M. Beaty's Carriage Repository 
  •  Avenue Hotel 
  •  Martin and Martin Opera House bar 
  •  Driskill Hotel 
  •  West 29th Street, c. 1931 
  •  Achillies Store, 16th and Guadalupe, c. 1932 
  •  Goodman Store, c. 1932 
  •  Lamar Boulevard, c. 1941 
  •  6th and Congress, c. 1942 
  •  Robert Mueller Municipal Airport, c. 1934 
  •  Mrs. Jacob (Martha) Bickler 
  •  Captain Frank Hawks, Mayor Tom Miller, Max Bickler, Nov. 1935 
  •  Governor James V. Allred 
  •  Postman Ray Lee, February 6, 1940 
  •  Austin trolley Cars, c. 1905 
  •  Hyde Park trolley, c. 1880s 
  •  First trolley across Congress Ave. bridge, Dec. 2, 1910 
  •  Dismantling trolley tracks, May 27, 1940 
  •  Last trolleys on main line, February 7, 1940 
  •  New buses in Austin 
  •  Austin on Circus day 
  •  President McKinley visit, parade 
  •  Austin, c. 1887 
  •  Market house, fire station, city hall, c. 1898 
  •  Austin courthouse, c. 1900 
  •  Old courthouse demolished, 3rd and Guadalupe, August 1932 
  •  New Travis County courthouse, c. 1932 
  •  Travis County courthouse, c. 1942 
  •  New Federal building groundbreaking, 8th and Colorado, March 17, 1934 
  •  Congressman James Buchanan, photograph taken by LBJ, c. 1935 
  •  Joe Mackey, September, 1935 
  •  New Federal building, 8th and Lavaca, February 22, 1936 
  •  Gov. James V. Allred swearing in ceremony, Coke Stevenson 
  •  Gov. Lee O. Daniel 
  •  Snow at the Texas state captial, January 22, 1940 
  •  Homes of governors: Elisha M. Pease, Allan Shivers, Edmund J. Davis, Joseph D. Sayers, Andrew J. Hamilton, Oran M. Roberts 
  •  Mrs. Miriam A. "Ma" Ferguson 
  •  Jay Nottington, the Horrells and Higgins feud 
  •  Sam Bass, Bill Longley 
  •  Austin Chamber of Commerce 
  •  Paramount Theatre 
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Take a look at the “legends and history of our town” in this episode of the locally produced television program, Progress Report Austin.
Gordon Wilkison began work as a cameraman at the local Austin television station KTBC (now FOX 7) during 1952, its first year of operation.  At the time the station was owned by the Texas Broadcasting Company, which was owned by Senator Lyndon B. and Lady Bird Johnson. This relationship would continue to shape Wilkison's career well into the next decades - during the Johnson administration, Wilkison covered the president's visits to Texas, preparing material for national and international news correspondents. 
A particularly notable moment is his career occurred on August 1, 1966, when Wilkison and KTBC reporter Neal Spelce risked their lives to capture footage of the Tower shooting at the University of Texas. 
Wilkison was also the General Manager of Photo Processors at the LBJ Broadcasting Corporation, which he later took over and renamed Cenetex Film Labs. In addition to his camera work and film processing, his work at the station also included direction of a number of television film productions.
Outside of KTBC, Wilkison shot, edited, and processed Longhorn football game footage for the University of Texas, a partnership that lasted nearly 30 years.    
Recognizing the historical value of film and news footage, Wilkison kept the material, later contributing hundreds of reels to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image's collection.
The Driskill Hotel was opened by cattle baron Jesse Lincoln Driskill in 1886 as a showpiece for the emerging capital city of Austin. A luxurious building with arched entryways and limestone features, the grand hotel was reminiscent of the palaces in New York, Chicago, and St. Louis. It quickly became the place to throw lavish Governor’s balls and host international dignitaries. Jesse Driskill was forced to sell the hotel in 1888 due to a severe drought that cost him his fortune. After years of being traded and sold, the Driskill’s fifth owner, Major George W. Littlefield, vowed the hotel would never close again and initiated a $60,000 renovation in 1895. 
President Lyndon Baines Johnson had his first date with his future wife, Lady Bird, in the downstairs dining room of the Driskill in 1934. This marked the beginning of the Johnsons’ lifelong love for the hotel. In the 1950s, the Johnsons rented suites at the Driskill to serve as the offices of their news station, KTBC. It was also the site of Lyndon’s campaign headquarters, where they awaited election results for both the vice-presidential and presidential elections, and the couple frequented their own presidential suite during his presidency.
After a planned rennovation falling through, the Driskill Hotel faced demolition in 1969. The Heritage Society of Austin strived to get the building recognized as a historic landmark and succeeded. A series of fundraising campaigns amounting to over $700,000 allowed for the hotel to reopen in 1972, and it has been in operation since that time. Known as one of the most haunted hotels in the country, ghostly spirits have been reported roaming the old hallways, including Jesse Driskill himself!
Austin National Bank
Congress Avenue
Kurt Bishop
UT Tower
moonlight towers
Texas State Capitol
Goddess of Liberty
hurricane Carla
Texas A&M
Texas Military Institute
John Garland James
Sam Houston, Jr.
high school
elementary school
Pease Elementary
Governor Elisha Pease
Texas Permanent School Fund
John T. Allen
Allen Junior High
cattle drive
Chisolm Trail
Montopolis Bridge
Brushy Creek
Round Rock
Dripping Springs
Mount Bonnell
Mt. Bonnell
Peter Preston Ackley
Millet Opera House
Capital Pharmacy
6th Street
Hennings Building
F.M. Beaty's Carriage Repository
Avenue Hotel
Martin & Martin Opera House Bar
Driskill Hotel
St. Davids Church
29th Street
Achilles Store
Goodman Store
Lamar Boulevard
Capitol Theater
Renfro Corner
Hotel Main
Robert Mueller Municipal Airport
Mrs. Jacob Bickler
Martha Bickler
Frank Hawks
Captain Hawks Flying Club
Tom Miller
Max Bickler
James Allred
Ray Lee
street cars
trolley cars
Austin Trolley Cars
Hyde Park
Hyde Park Depots
Circus Day
William McKinley
Market House
Travis County Courthouse
Federal Building
James Buchanan
Lyndon Johnson
Joe Macken
James Allred
Coke Stevenson
Lee O'Daniel
Pappy O'Daniel
Texas Governor's Mansion
Allan Shivers
E.J. Davis
Edmund Davis
Joseph Sayers
Andrew Hamilton
Oran Roberts
Miriam Ferguson
Ma Ferguson
J.K. Northington
Sam Bass
Bill Longley
Austin Chamber of Commerce
Sears & Roebuck
Reed Music Company
Palmer Auditorium
City Coliseum
Gordon Wilkison
Winn-McLane Associates, Inc.