Mexican-American Cultural Center in Austin fights to preserve history

AUSTIN – Rainey Street, a neighborhood once filled with Mexican-American culture, is now known for its bars and restaurants.

They surround The Mexican-American Cultural Center, and now staff there is fighting for a moratorium to stop future development. A 40-story tower is expected to go up across from the center — a space that MACC hoped to use for its own future development.

Rainey Street was the first real Mexican-American neighborhood in Austin. A city zoning in 1928 designated the area for Mexican families on the outskirts of downtown. Now the area has become a part of the Austin nightlife with bars and street traffic.

“In Austin we pride ourselves in the diversity that makes up our community,” said Paul Saldana, an MACC activist. “That’s history. It’s culture there and that is something we need to preserve for all our children.”

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