11 Most Endangered Historic Places
Lions Municipal Golf Course
Established in 1924 by members of the Austin Lions Club, Lions Municipal Golf Course—known locally as “Muny”—is Austin’s oldest municipal golf course and often recognized as the first desegregated course in the South.In late 1950, two African-American youths walked onto the course and were allowed to play. Their round marked the quiet desegregation of Muny, which was particularly noteworthy for having occurred without conflict and with minimal public debate. Thereafter, the course regularly attracted African-American golfers from the across Texas, as well as public figures such as boxing legend Joe Louis, an outspoken advocate for African-American golfers.
“As the complex struggle for racial justice continues to take center stage across America, places like Austin’s Lions Municipal Golf Course have much to teach us about peaceful efforts towards increased human decency and respect.”National Trust President and CEO, Stephanie Meeks
Now, despite being added to the National Register of Historic Places this past summer, Muny’s future is uncertain. Its lease, currently held between the City of Austin and the University of Texas, technically expires in May 2019, but previous public statements point to a possible dissolution of the agreement to make way for potential commercial development on the property. The course’s future hinges on a longer-term lease agreement between the city and the university; without it, Muny cannot continue to highlight an important chapter of the American story.
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