Live (Work, or Play) in Downtown Austin?  Join DANA (Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association)

Live (Work, or Play) in Downtown Austin? Join DANA (Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association)

Jude and I are both on the board of the Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association (DANA) – a grassroots community organization dedicated to improving the lives of those who live, work, and / or play in the Downtown Austin Community. It’s an organization that we believe in, and an organization that is affecting positive change in our community.

For our readers who are downtown residents (or, who spend a significant amount of time downtown for work or for pleasure), I urge you to become a member of the organization.

A little info: [Read more…]

A Different View

As Amber and I walked out of Frank last week, I couldn’t help but notice this view.  There’s nothing particularly dramatic about it.  What is interesting, to me at least, is that for years this view didn’t exist.

201 E 5th Street obstructed the view to 5th Street from this block of Colorado St.  That building was recently razed, and was replaced with a surface level parking lot.  Eventually, the “1 Hotel” is supposed to occupy the land once they find the capital to commence with site permitting and construction.

Until then, the open space replaces a vacant and ugly building.  I’m usually against taking down a building of higher and better use and replacing it with a surface level parking lot.  But in this instance I’m ambivalent.  Now, the “energy” at 5th @ Colorado, a gateway into downtown Austin’s Warehouse District, just feels good… better.

It’s more inviting to see through to Colorado St, rather than walk around what was a “dead” building. A completed “1 Hotel” would energize the district, but until that time, this surface level parking lot is better than what it replaced.


Lamar Blvd Sidewalks Of Doom Get Upgraded

Ever notice the broken four feet of pathway allocated to pedestrians daring to use Lamar Blvd to cross 3rd Street? This walking route will soon become less tenuous as new sidewalks are being installed.

Barricades to protect pedestrians would be nice. Also, I want the knitted artwork back.

Deconstruction @ 201 W. 5th Street

Clearing the way for a new, and much needed hotel in downtown Austin, 201 W. 5th has been demolished. The concept, “1 Hotel” was announced last September and is being designed by BOKA Powell.

What is not clear is when construction of the hotel will begin, leaving many people concerned about the blight of more surface level parking.

Below are photos taken over the past few days showing the incremental demolition of the old building.

Photo courtesy of Chris Bradford (click image for article)

Proposal: A Pocket Park For Rainey Street District

Proposal: A Pocket Park For Rainey Street District

On August 3rd, PARD will present a concept for a new park in the Rainey Street District.  We inquired about the specific location, but didn’t get a specific answer.  Above are four locations where we think it could end up.  The most likely location would be to the southeast, close to Waller Beach – which has the distinction of having accessible parking, and is home to the only kids’ playscape in downtown Austin.

UPDATE: According to PARD (thanks!), “pocket parks” by definition have minor amenities, and generally don’t provide parking.  The location is TBD, based on input from the upcoming workshop, but it’s likely to be south of Cummings St.  There might be bond money for playground replacement, and possibly parkland dedication funds available.