The Broken Spoke, the popular and iconic South Austin honky-tonk established in 1964, boot-scooted even further into local legend Nov. 3.
Austin’s City Council approved a resolution initiating historic zoning for the dancehall, at 3201 S. Lamar Blvd., to “provide permanent protection to the structure and the operations of the venue.” The resolution’s sponsors were Council Members Ann Kitchen, Kathie Tovo, Vanessa Fuentes and Leslie Pool and Mayor Steve Adler.
The resolution, a draft of which was posted on Oct. 28 to the city’s website, details the importance of the Broken Spoke to both Austin’s famous music scene and several country singers’ careers. In 1967, White booked Willie Nelson to play at the Broken Spoke, paying him $800. George Strait was also a fixture in the 1970s and ’80s.
“Things will change and grow but I strongly support resolutions like this in particular, preserving and protecting the Austin we know and love.” pic.twitter.com/WEG2u6njKm
— Mackenzie Kelly (@mkelly007) November 3, 2022
Dolly Parton, Dale Watson, Bob Wills and other well-known performers have also played the venue, leaving behind souvenirs that helped build a museum focused on the history of Austin and the honky-tonk.
The draft resolution also cited that “many of Austin’s creative spaces continue to be lost or displaced due to Austin’s continuing real estate boom, resulting in the loss of some of Austin’s most significant creative cultural incubators and unique Austin character.”
The draft resolution said the venue’s age and ties to history qualified the Broken Spoke for historic landmark consideration.
Council Member Mackenzie Kelly also invited U.S. Rep. Chip Roy to testify in favor of the resolution. The dance hall is within Roy’s district.
In approving the resolution, City Council directed City Manager Spencer Cronk to review the case and advance the Broken Spoke for historic landmark designation. The matter would go through the Historic Landmark Commission and the Planning Commission before returning to the council, and the draft resolution mentions that a historical marker could be placed by April.
The historic landmark designation would be the Broken Spoke’s second such honor — last year, the venue received approval for a Texas Historical Marker.
This story originally appeared in the Austin American-Statesman.
Cover photo courtesy CBS Austin.