The Grande Dame of Austin: A History of the Driskill Hotel
Introduced by Lion Mac Ragsdale
The Driskill Hotel is more than just a place where a lot of people have stayed and dined during the last 132 years. Any luxury hotel represents a place of entertainment, escape and gala events, but the Driskill has served as the Capitol of Texas away from the Capitol, has welcomed hundreds of celebrities from Edwin Booth to John Wayne (including at least seven president) and has witnessed murders, suicides, gunfights, governors’ balls, fires, parties and outlandish pranks. LBJ took Lady Bird there for their first date, proposed marriage to her there and made it his headquarters on election night 1964. It is filled with stunning antiques and, if many people are to be believed, more than a dozen ghosts.
The brainchild of cattleman Jesse Driskill, it opened on December 20, 1886. Two weeks later, it hosted the inaugural ball for newly elected Governor Sul Ross. The city, the newspapers, the public and Driskill were certain of nothing but success and glory. It didn’t happen, at least not immediately.
Author Monte Akers has written a fascinating history of the Driskill Hotel, the “grande dame” of Austin. He will share some of the stories told in the book, and copies will be available for sale. Published by Waterloo Press, proceeds from sales of the book support the Austin History Center Association and the Austin History Center.
Featured Lunch Meal $12:
Spaghetti with Meatballs
Optional Lunch Meal $12:
Meals provided by Manny Sifuentes, manager at Cafe del Rio, a business staffed by the Texas Commission for the Blind.
Please register by 5 p.m. on Tuesday
We order meals based on your reservations and must pay for them even if you do not show up.
If you need to change or cancel your reservation, please call 512-441-1555.
Drive slowly on Campus.... remember that the speed limit at TSBVI is 10mph.