Guadalupe Street in Austin used to be nicknamed “Asylum Street” because just down the block from the University of Texas was the State Lunatic Asylum (at 4110 Guadalupe, now called the Austin State Hospital).
The street nickname is known today mostly through the band name “Asylum Street Spankers.” The group’s members used to busk on the area of Guadalupe near UT known as “The Drag.”
Wikipedia: Austin State Hospital
Austin State Hospital, formerly known as the State Lunatic Asylum, is the oldest psychiatric hospital in the state of Texas. Established by the Legislature in 1856, it commenced operations in 1861 with twelve patients. The name was changed in 1925.
The Hospital is the subject of a history by Sarah C. Sitton, Life at the Texas State Lunatic Asylum 1857 - 1997, published by the Texas A&M University Press in 1999 as Number 82 in the Centennial Series.
Location: 4110 Guadalupe
Austin, Texas, USA
Wikipedia: Asylum Street Spankers
The Asylum Street Spankers, formed in Austin, Texas in 1994, is a band whose music is rooted in early 20th century American musical forms. In Fall 2006, the band’s anti-war video “Stick Magnetic Ribbons on Your SUV” garnered 380,000 views on YouTube within the first two months of its release.
The band derived its name from an Austin street where they would often busk that was nicknamed Asylum Street, now named Guadalupe Street, and the term “spanker” which is an old musician’s term for “one who plays his instrument vigorously and proficiently”. It was along Guadalupe that the group played a number of early shows; Asylum Street led to a state asylum.
About.com: Austin, Texas
From Jacci Howard Bear,
Definition: Guadalupe is a street running north-south and passing through the UT Campus. It was named for a river that runs South of Austin. Other north-south streets in downtown Austin were also named for Texas rivers.
Although many places in Austin have Spanish/Mexican roots, sometimes the pronounciation gets mangled. Guadalupe Street is one example. Austinites pronounce the last syllable as loop.
The portion of Guadalupe that runs through the UT campus is known as The Drag.
Pronunciation: gwah-da-loop (not wah-dah-loo-pay or gwad-dah-loo-pay) • (noun)
About.com: Austin, Texas
Austin Streets and Highways
From Jacci Howard Bear, for About.com
North/South Downtown Austin Streets:
Named for rivers in Texas, the streets appear in the order they flow through the state with Congress Avenue running down the middle. Moving east away from Congress are Brazos, San Jacinto, Trinity, Neches, Red River, and Sabine. Moving west away from Congress are Colorado, Lavaca, Guadalupe, San Antonio, Nueces, and Rio Grande. Other major north-south non-highway streets in or near downtown include Lamar Blvd. and Shoal Creek Blvd.