AUSTIN (KXAN) – The Austin Parks and Recreation Department said a new Texas Historical Commission Marker will be unveiled at a downtown Austin park Friday morning.

The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. at Wooldridge Square Park at 900 Guadalupe St, according to Parks and Rec.

The department said in an April 28 release the historical marker “replaces an existing outdated marker and provides an expanded explanation of the park’s historic significance.”

According to the Parks Department release, when Judge Edwin Waller platted the City of Austin in 1839, he designated four public squares in each quadrant of the city.

Parks and Rec said only three of the original squares remained, and Wooldridge Square, in the northwest quadrant of downtown, was relatively unchanged and retains a high degree of historic integrity. 

For its first sixty years, Wooldridge Square was used by the public but remained “municipally undeveloped”, according to Parks and Rec.

By 1907, improvements were made to the park, and in 1909, Austin Mayor A. P. Wooldridge, for whom the square was already named, sponsored the construction of a classical revival-style gazebo for public engagements in the park.

In the early 20th century, many women’s suffrage rallies leading to Texas ratifying the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on June 28, 1919, were held at Woolridge Park.

According to Parks and Rec, there have several notable addresses from Wooldridge Square

  • 1911: Civil rights leader Booker T. Washington spoke after not being allowed to speak on the floor Texas Legislature due to the color of his skin
  • 1928: Minnie Fisher Cunningham, who helped organize the National League of Women Voters, announced her campaign as the first Texas woman to run for the U.S. Senate
  • 1948: Lyndon Baines Johnson announced his bid for the U.S. Senate