The Art Moderne bathhouse at Barton Springs Pool, a defining fixture of Austin, has a new name. The Austin City Council voted Thursday to rename the historic structure after Joan Means Khabele, whose act of civil disobedience spurred the successful fight to desegregate Barton Springs Pool.

Khabele is known as the first Black person to jump into the Springs pool, an act that signaled the start of a 1960  “swim in” movement that led to its desegregation, the Austin Monitor reported.

Austin activist and scholar Khabele attended Blackshear Elementary School and Kealing Junior High before becoming one of the first black students to enroll at all-white Austin High after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1954 that the Brown v. Board of Education decision allowing school segregation was unconstitutional. Khabele protested rules barring her and other Black students from Barton Springs during the Austin High annual senior picnic, jumping in the pool and kicking off a series of “swim ins” that eventually led to the pool's integration.

Khabele, who died in 2021, earned degrees from the University of Chicago and UCLA, worked in the Peace Corps, and taught in several African countries before moving back to Austin. She had three children and eight grandchildren.

Built in 1947, the bathhouse includes lifeguard offices, the BJ "Buster" Robinson Sr. Information Center, and the Beverly Sheffield Education Center. It's a state Antiquities Landmark and listed to the National Register of Historic Places. The city and the Barton Springs Conservancy broke ground on renovations to the building in February.

A working group of the Parks and Recreation board is also looking into the possibility of changing the name of the Springs, which are named after William Barton, a slaveholder and proponent of the extinction of Native Americans who moved to Texas in 1828, according to a 2023 KXAN report.