The Way Back: Back in Brack

Unlocking the vault of UT history

Donated to UT in 1910 by George Brackenridge, the Brackenridge Tract—which includes married student housing, research labs, and the Lions Municipal golf course—has been the subject of recent debate and legislative interest.

But back in the 1920s and ’30s, the tract was in the news for a very different reason, during a building boom that shaped campus as we know it today. It it could have been a very different story if efforts to relocate the university to the banks of the Colorado had succeeded.

As the 1921 legislature mulled over the pros and cons of relocation, the concept immediately caught students’ imaginations. According to cartoonists for the Cactus, floating frat houses could sail down the river, everyone could wear bathing suits to class, and a giant water shoot could propel students directly into the lake when the bell sounded. “Buzzarding would be a pleasure indeed,” punned the authors, naughtily. Ultimately, the idea went nowhere, but the university still owns the proposed site along what is today Lake Austin Boulevard.


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