It's a mall world after all: New ACC Highland campus opens this weekend
A peek inside the new Austin Community College in the former Highland Mall, plus a chat with the architects, who design college campuses with student wellbeing in mind.
When the Highland Mall opened in 1971, Austin was a different city.
With fewer than 300,000 people in the metro area, the city was known for two things: The University of Texas and the State Capitol.
Interstate 35 had opened a few years earlier, and the city was still recovering from the 1966 UT Tower shooting.
But at the intersection of U.S. 290 and this new interstate, a brand new kind of building was unveiled to the city: a split-level indoor shopping mall.
This was a decade before America’s mall craze hit a fever pitch. Barton Creek Square didn’t open until 1980, which gave Highland Mall plenty of time to become *the* shopping destination for Austinites who were looking for a new suit, a new pair of shoes or a new place to hang out with friends.
As the Highland Mall introduced a new shopping experience to Central Texans, another institution brought a new learning experience.
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