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Project 7 Outtakes - Crest Hotel

Gordon Wilkison

Sound | 1960s

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  •  The project the people are talking about in this segment is the Crest Hotel, later the Sheraton Crest, and now the Radisson Hotel + Suites downtown. It may have been through a fistful of names, but it's the same building and still standing at the corner of East First and Congress. 
 
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Reflecting the economic and urban growth of Austin in the 1960s, this movie shows a developer discussing plans for a large hotel at the corner of Congress Avenue and 1st Street, on the banks of the river. He lists the projected capacities and services the hotel will offer and notes its proximity to the convention center. The film concludes with outtakes from another interview, in which the interviewer seem to be having a tough time getting information from the interviewee.
Gordon Wilkison began work as a cameraman at the local Austin television station KTBC (now FOX 7) during 1952, its first year of operation.  At the time the station was owned by the Texas Broadcasting Company, which was owned by Senator Lyndon B. and Lady Bird Johnson. This relationship would continue to shape Wilkison's career well into the next decades - during the Johnson administration, Wilkison covered the president's visits to Texas, preparing material for national and international news correspondents. 
 
A particularly notable moment is his career occurred on August 1, 1966, when Wilkison and KTBC reporter Neal Spelce risked their lives to capture footage of the Tower shooting at the University of Texas. 
 
Wilkison was also the General Manager of Photo Processors at the LBJ Broadcasting Corporation, which he later took over and renamed Cenetex Film Labs. In addition to his camera work and film processing, his work at the station also included direction of a number of television film productions.
 
Outside of KTBC, Wilkison shot, edited, and processed Longhorn football game footage for the University of Texas, a partnership that lasted nearly 30 years.    
 
Recognizing the historical value of film and news footage, Wilkison kept the material, later contributing hundreds of reels to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image's collection.