THE ORIGINAL AUSTIN
Austin grew from the tiny village of
Waterloo, originally settled by Native Americans. The area was chosen later to become
the capital of the new Republic of Texas.
Texas was an independent country for
nearly ten years before being annexed by the
United States in 1845.
Waterloo was renamed after Stephen F.
Austin, “the father of Texas” and the
founders’ vision included a state capitol
building to look down from a hill over the
city. The State Capitol was built on that hill
in 1888, with stunning views of the city.
The Texas State Capitol was built as a result
of one of the largest barter transactions in
history – the Capitol’s builders received
3 million acres in the Texas Panhandle,
which later became the largest cattle ranch
in the world, the XIT Ranch. The Capitol
is one of the state’s most popular attrac-
tions with more than 1 million visitors
each year. Constructed from limestone and
pink granite from nearby Marble Falls in
the same architectural style as the nation’s
Capitol, it’s actually taller than its distant
D.C. sibling by seven feet – making it the
largest state capitol in the U.S.
Today, with a population of just over
885,400, Austin is the fourth-most populous city in Texas, and now officially the
11th largest city in the U.S., according to
the Census. The area continues to grow, and
the Austin city demographer’s office anticipates the population inside city limits to
reach 1 million by 2025. For the five-county
Austin-Round Rock MSA – which covers
4, 279 square miles and includes Travis,
Williamson, Hays, Caldwell, and Bastrop
counties – they expect to reach 3 million by
2030 and 4 million by 2045.
No matter how long they’ve been here, most
people who live in Austin say they wouldn’t
live anywhere else – and for good reason. The
state capital of Texas inspires fierce hometown dedication to its rolling terrain, natural
living, liberal attitudes, interesting people,
quality of life, stellar educational opportunities, and thriving business community.
The combination has attracted the attention
of those relocating from all over the country
and internationally – and plenty of accolades from diverse sources in recent years.
For instance, in 2013, Austin ranked first on
the Milken Institute’s list of best-performing
metro areas, up from second place in 2012.
Forbes consistently highlights Austin’s
remarkable growth, naming it the “#1 City
to Watch in 2014,” the “Fastest Growing
The 360 Bridge