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With a rich sense of history and a thriving entertainment scene, Downtown is Austin’s beating heart. Late-19th-century architectural landmarks, including the iconic Texas State Capitol (1888) and the Driskill Hotel (1886), mix with modern museums. Music lovers flock to celebrated venues like Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater and Stubbs BBQ, while revelers hit the high-energy bars along East 6th Street.
Major employers in Downtown Austin include the corporate headquarters and flagship store of Whole Foods Market, GSD&M Idea City and one co-headquarter location of Indeed. Schlotzsky's has its headquarters in the 301 Congress Avenue building in Downtown Austin. The Texas Observer, a magazine, has its headquarters in Downtown Austin. Gowalla also has its headquarters there.
Texas Monthly has its headquarters at 816 Congress Ave. It occupies a 21,610 square feet (2,008 m2) area on the 17th floor of the building. As of 2011 it has about 80 employees. The headquarters was scheduled to move to its current location in the summer of 2011. Previously the headquarters were in Suite 1600 of 701 Brazos.
The Downtown Austin Alliance is a partnership of individuals and business dedicated to promoting Downtown Austin.
Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority provides public transportation services, including bus, paratransit and since 2010, commuter rail services to Downtown Austin. The Capital MetroRail Downtown Station is located near the Austin Convention Center on Fourth Street, between Neches and Trinity; the station is outside of the Austin Convention Center.
Austin Community College operates the Rio Grande Campus in Downtown.
Austin Independent School District operates area public schools. The zoned schools are located outside of Downtown. All residents south of 15th Street are zoned to Mathews Elementary School, O. Henry Middle School, and Austin High School. Some residents north of 15th Street are zoned to Lee Elementary School, Kealing Middle School, and McCallum High School. Other residents are zoned to Bryker Woods Elementary School, O. Henry Middle School, and Austin High School.
Mathews was built in 1916. Bryker Woods and Lee were built in 1939. McCallum and O. Henry were built in 1953. The current Austin High School campus opened in 1975.
The middle and high school campus of the private school Headwaters School (formerly Khabele School) is located in Downtown Austin.
The Paramount Theater is an Austin cultural icon. Built and completed in 1915, it was originally made for vaudeville. Over the years, as movies became the leading form of entertainment, the theater was remodeled with upholstered chairs and a state-of-the-art sound system. The theater would nearly close in the 1960s as people made the move from theaters to television. However, the building would be restored before closing, leading the Paramount Theater to avoid demolition. Today, the theater continues to operate, viewing popular movies.
The Contemporary Austin Jones Center is located at 700 Congress Avenue. The Contemporary Austin is Austin, Texas's primary community art museum, consisting of two primary locations and an art school.
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