Preservation Magazine, Summer 2016

Transitions: Threatened—Lions Municipal Golf Course

Lions Municipal Golf Course in Austin, Texas

photo by: Save Muny

Austin, Texas' oldest public golf course is believed to be the first integrated municipal course south of the Mason-Dixon line.

In each Transitions section of Preservation magazine, we highlight places of local and national importance that have recently been restored, are currently threatened, have been saved from demolition or neglect, or have been lost. Here's one from Summer 2016.

Lions Municipal Golf Course, or “Muny,” is the oldest public golf course in Texas’s capital city of Austin, but its legacy doesn’t stop there—it is also believed to be the first integrated municipal course south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Lions Municipal opened in 1924 and was officially desegregated in 1950. To make way for commercial development, the University of Texas at Austin, which owns the land the course occupies, recently announced that it would let Lions Municipal’s lease expire when it comes up for renewal in May 2019. The news was met with dismay by community members and golf enthusiasts, and local organization Save Muny has petitioned the university on the golf course’s behalf and garnered local and national support for its preservation. In February, the Austin City Council voted unanimously to recommend the course for a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Leaders of the United States Golf Association wrote a letter of support for the course’s addition to the National Register, stating that the desegregation of the course “marked an important milestone in opening up the game to players of all races.” As of press time, the course’s future remained uncertain.

Katherine Flynn is a former assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores, and uncovering the stories behind historic places.


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