12th And Chicon

A documentary debuting Saturday at the Return and Discover Festival captures the "rich black culture of East 12th Street," filmmaker Funmi Ogunro says.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin's first recorded African-American resident, who was brought here as a 10-year-old slave, is a focal point of a new art installation at a bus stop at the intersection at 12th and Chicon streets. The installation pays tribute to the city's African-American history.

Lynda Gonzalez / KUT

A mural honoring mostly black musicians at the corner of 12th and Chicon in East Austin was painted over last May. It depicted artists like Tupac Shakur, James Brown, Michael Jackson and Stevie Ray Vaughan, among others. An outcry followed. Though the mural was only a handful of years old, painting over it — with white paint, no less — held huge symbolism for this neighborhood, which has been remade in recent years by rising property values.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

In between classes at Kealing Middle School the hallways are full of students, but in the library it's quiet. That's where Gabriel Russell and Joshua Morgan are sitting at a table, talking.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

For the past few months, we’ve been reporting on the rapidly changing neighborhood around 12th and Chicon streets in East Austin as part of our On My Block project.

Today, we hear from a local restaurant owner who’s bringing a taste of his hometown of New Orleans to the neighborhood. Darold Gordon owns Big Easy Bar & Grill near the corner of 12th and Chicon streets in East Austin.

You can check out more stories in this project at our On My Block Tumblr

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

Decades ago, the area around the intersection of 12th and Chicon streets was a central corridor in historically black East Austin, but over the years, drugs became a presence at the corner. Prostitution and other illegal activity happened in broad daylight there, and in 2012, Austin police took a new approach to the problem – what’s called a drug market intervention.


Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT

It’s no secret that Austin is growing and changing fast. In some parts of the city, it's happening more quickly than others. Maybe no place in Austin has seen a more noticeable transformation than East Austin


Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Austin’s trolley cars, which retired in 1940, stopped at East 12th and Chicon streets. It’s there that Ada Harden and her brother would hop on, pay the five-cent fee, and ride with little concern about a destination.