In 1976, the City of Austin utilized federal Older American Act funds to establish a multifaceted gift shop selling handicrafts and original art by local artists 50 or better.
That was the mission for the Old Bakery & Emporium, located at 1006 Congress Ave.
I’m as surprised as you that this concept didn’t take off and IPO within a few years.
Alas, charming as it is, the Old Bakery has not generated much buzz to date, and stakeholders are looking for new ideas.
The Old Bakery building is one of the finest historic commercial buildings in Austin.
“The Old Bakery was vacant, deteriorating and scheduled for demolition when it was rescued through the combined efforts of the Austin Heritage Society, which purchased the structure in 1963, and the Junior League, which donated $12,500 for restoration work. In 1964, the Heritage Society began operating a Tourist Information Center and Coffee Kitchen at the site. When the mortgage was paid off in 1970, the Old Bakery was sold to the State of Texas. The state of Texas deeded the building and property to the City of Austin in 1980.”
If we look towards the Norwood House, we might conclude that deeding a property to the City of Austin will lead to certain neglect. However, the Old Bakery has survived City stewardship quite well.
With Little City gone, and Starbucks now kicking out laptop hobos, I can imagine the Old Bakery purposed as a retail space for a broad base of daily customers.
One of the site’s greatest amenities is being adjacent to a park, which suits it for al fresco opportunities.
What do you think the highest and best use of the Old Bakery is?
For inspiration, checkout Nice & Smooth making the old to the new.