||Efforts by Texas Legislators in 1917 to improve the quality of public education in Texas resulted in provisions to establish colleges in East Texas and South Texas. Nacogdoches was chosen over 27 other towns to become home to the new East Texas College. Historian A. W. Birdwell was chosen president of the institution.
This building, designed by architect W. E. Ketchum and named after Stephen F. Austin, Texas' preeminent Anglo American colonizer, was built in 1922-23 and is the university's oldest academic building still in use. The Austin Building's classical revival style was a typical early 20th century design for college and governmental buildings throughout Texas. Elements of the style are evident in the building's pedimented entry bay with columns, double-door entry at the top of a ceremonial flight of stairs, cast stone detailing, and rhythm of bays defined by pilasters.
The Austin building was originally the administrative headquarters and classroom facility for a provincial liberal arts teachers college comprised almost entirely of Anglo East Texas students numbering in the hundreds. Today it serves as the nerve center of a multi-disciplinary university with thousands of students of various cultural and national origins.
Stephen F. Austin Bicentennial 1793 - 1993