The effort to revitalize the Entertainment District is about recognizing problems and offering solutions. It is about a higher and better use of Austin’s historic landmarks. It’s about preventing decay. It’s about offering an array of services to the people who use the Entertainment District everyday. Adding more day time services is not a slippery slope to J Crews and Baby Gaps! This is about making the Entertainment District safe for everyone. This is about visitors leaving Austin with a more positive experience.
Day time tour
Saturday, November 22nd (11am-1pm)
- Where is everybody?
- Narrow sidewalks, empty parking
- “No, I don’t have a cigarette you can bum”
- “No, I’m not giving you change”
- A sandwich on the sidewalk
- Broken glass
- An empty Austin Visitors Bureau with a broken neon sign
- Landmarked buildings that look abused and neglected
- “Couldn’t they at least paint those doors?”
- Landmark plaques next to broken windows
- An ATM that someone had tried to rob
- Jail-style bars on doors and windows
- Awnings torn, tattered, and covered in dirt
- Too much chain link fence
- ATMs are everywhere
- A pay phone booth without a pay phone
- Waller Creek is shamefully littered
- There is 17,000 square feet of unused retail space at 5th & Sabine.
Towards the end of Saturday’s day time tour, Marshall Jones (President of DANA) and I were standing on the northeast corner of 6th and Brazos sharing observations. We see a guy across the street. He’s wearing a Hawaiian shirt, picking up litter on the street, and putting it in the trash. Turns out this was John Erwin, owner of B.D. Rileys Pub. John had no idea that Marshall and I were watching him do this. We caught up with him and chatted for a few minutes. What I like about John, and people like John, is that he is proactive and doing right by our community. Kudos, John!