This is an online exhibit featured by the Austin History Center and the Austin Public Library. Austin's street history truly begins in 1839, just prior to the city's founding, when Mirabeau B. Lamar, President of the Republic of Texas, commissioned his old war-time friend Edwin Waller to survey the site for the new capital city and to oversee its planning and construction. Waller, who had participated in the signing of the Declaration of Independence and was well-acquainted with pioneering work, accepted the task. After the area was thoroughly surveyed and the first city plan drafted, Waller and his team of 160 men proceeded to convert the wilderness site into a working city within a matter of months. This exhibit looks at some of Austin's major streets over time and provides the origins of many street names.