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Council pushes historic recognition for Broken Spoke

Friday, November 4, 2022 by Jo Clifton

City Council has started the process for designating the Broken Spoke an official city historic landmark. The Spoke, perhaps Austin’s most famous honky-tonk, has already received a state historical marker in recognition of its 58 years hosting music legends such as Bob Wills, Jerry Jeff Walker, Marcia Ball, and many more. The resolution sponsored by Council Member Ann Kitchen noted that Willie Nelson and George Strait started their careers at the Broken Spoke in the 1970s. In addition to being the only remaining dance hall in the city, the Broken Spoke hosts a museum of historic artifacts and souvenirs from its various performers and celebrities. The resolution calls on city management to expedite the historic designation so that the marker can be placed at the Spoke in April 2023. U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, who has represented downtown and South Austin for several years, was invited by Council Member Mackenzie Kelly to address Council on the issue. He urged them to move forward with the designation and invited them to work with him on future issues, including protection of the Hill Country, though he will no longer be representing the area due to redistricting. It was an unusual appearance by the Republican congressman, who spoke fondly of visits to the Spoke.

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