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Hammerlun Center History & Tour

About Georgetown ISD's Oldest Building

Front view of the Hammerlun Center, the administrative center for Georgetown ISD. Red brick building with flags on lawn.

photo: circa 2018

Georgetown ISD was founded in 1917. This property at 507 E. University Avenue is the original site of Southwestern University, sold to the city and deeded to Georgetown ISD. The original university buildings were razed, and this building was constructed in 1922-1923 with funds from the first-ever bond election in GISD. It opened in December 1923.

Building 1 served as the original Georgetown High School until the new high school opened on North Austin Avenue in 1975. Following that time, it served students of all grade levels until it was renovated in 2018 to become the Hammerlun Center for Leadership & Learning, home to more than 110 staff members and the district’s professional learning space. 

  • Step onto the front patio to view the building’s historical marker. Note the dates at the top of the sandstone pillars indicating the construction start year, 1922, and the construction end year, 1923. 

  • From the lobby, turn left or right and note the clay tiles on some walls and the ceiling. Clay tiles were part of the building’s original construction, exposed and preserved to highlight the building’s history. This was a popular style of construction at the time and seldom seen in renovations today. When discovered, the district decided to preserve these to the extent possible without compromising energy efficiency. It gives a nod to the building’s past. 

  • Step into the auditorium, behind the main lobby, and feel like you are stepping back in time. The stage features original long-leaf pine floors. The carved wood feature around the stage is another original feature as are the light fixtures overhead. Lights were renovated with new and more efficient LED features, though the fixtures themselves are more than 100 years old.

  • In the lobby, you’ll find a row of the original auditorium seats. These were replaced during the 2018 renovation.

Historic Marker
Clay Tiles
Original Wood Floors
Original Light Fixtures
Original Seating