Hidden Railroad Relic Steams Toward Historic Status
The Shoal Creek Conservancy seeks to place the Third Street Trestle on the National Register of Historic Places. Located in the heart of downtown, the trestle is one of the last remaining vestiges of Austin’s railroad infrastructure. Limbacher & Godfrey’s concepts for converting it into a linear park space support the application, and serve as the centerpiece of the Cypress & Shoal Creek planning project.
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As an online promotion for the Guide to Austin Architecture, AIA Austin has just released the “Happy Trails” tour. Following the hike-and-bike trail around Lady Bird Lake, the tour includes The Boardwalk:
The Guide to Austin Architecture is a program of @austinfdnforarchitecture and @aiaaustin, and is supported by Austin Energy Green Building. Special thanks to community partner @thetrailfoundation for their assistance in the production of this tour.
Image by James Innes. #archguideatx
Preservation Austin Merit Award for Shipe Park Shelter House
Established in 1960, Preservation Austin’s annual Preservation Merit Awards program honors visionary approaches to preserving Austin’s unique architectural, cultural, and environmental heritage.
Shipe Park was opened after the city’s 1928 plan called for a new parks system. Early shelter houses supported athletics, dancing and crafts. The Shipe Park Shelter House is one of just four that remain today. Completed in 1930, its unusual design takes inspiration from 19th century dogtrot cabins. Shipe Park is located in the Hyde Park Local Historic District. A conditions assessment by Limbacher & Godfrey served as the basis for this rehabilitation by the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department.
The firm is contributing planning and historic preservation services to a multi-disciplinary team studying the public spaces for a six-block stretch of Third Street between Nueces and Seaholm Drive. The plan area also includes passage along Shoal Creek, the site of the city’s oldest hike and bike trail. The goal is to create a series of inviting public spaces and to improve pedestrian and cycling safety and connectivity in this rapidly-transforming area of west downtown Austin. Additional considerations include interpretive strategies to link contemporary life to the site’s rich history as a rail corridor and as the location of significant industrial infrastructure, particularly associated with power generation.
The study was commissioned by a partnership of the Shoal Creek Conservancy and the Downtown Austin Alliance.
In collaboration with Ten Eyck Landscape Architects, Lake|Flato Architects, fd2s and a full complement of technical support.
A. J. Jernigan House Wins Preservation Merit Award
Preservation Austin has recognized Limbacher & Godfrey’s A. J. Jernigan House Rehabilitation and Addition at its 59th Annual Preservation Merit Awards event. Established in 1960, this juried program honors the hard work and visionary approaches of those preserving Austin’s unique architectural, cultural, and environmental heritage.
The A. J. Jernigan House can be seen here: http://limbacher-godfrey.com/project/a-j-jernigan-house/
Preservation Austin has been Austin’s leading nonprofit voice for historic preservation since 1953.
An Austin treasure: $2.1 million gift gets Barton Springs Bathhouse to funding goal
At Thursday’s “Toast to the Springs” poolside event, philanthropist Ross Moody announced his family foundation’s $2.1 million gift to complete the rehabilitation of the Barton Springs Bathhouse, an estimated $8 million project. The bathhouse was designed in 1947 by Recreation Department staff architect Dan Driscoll, and has long needed an upgrade.
“It’s an Austin treasure,” said Moody, who has been swimming at the pool since 1980. “The project brings together health, wellness and nature as well as historical, cultural and environmental preservation. It’s a one-stop shop.”
Austin-based Limbacher & Godfrey Architects has been charged with the rehabilitation project.
Alfred Godfrey Leads Trail Foundation In Full-Board Retreat
Alfred Godfrey led a day-long, full-board retreat for the Trail Foundation in the role of facilitator. The goal was to engage the board in a strategic discussion on the topic of moving TTF to a conservancy model. TTF is currently a projects-based organization that builds projects with privately-raised money and then turns them over to Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department for maintenance and operation. Under a conservancy model, TTF would not only build the projects, but would stay engaged in an ongoing M&O role. Also, with the conservancy model, TTF could expand its grounds keeping and ecological enhancement portfolio throughout the Lady Bird Lake corridor. Key to the success of such a transition would be a formal agreement with the City.
The session featured remarks by Kimberly McNeely, acting Director of the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, a presentation by TTF ecologist, Leslie Libby and a presentation by Tim Marshall with ETM Associates, a nationally-recognized landscape planning firm that specializes in guiding organizations toward the conservancy model. Mr. Godfrey led group discussions that identified critical decision factors, weighed risks and opportunities and considered a phased approach. To conclude the session, a board survey was conducted that served as the basis for further action toward the conservancy model.
Laurie Limbacher Joins the Texas Historical Commission
Texas Governor Greg Abbot has appointed Laurie Limbacher to the Texas Historical Commission, a 9-member statewide body whose mission is to protect and preserve the state’s historic and prehistoric resources for the use, education, enjoyment, and economic benefit of present and future generations. Commission programs include historic cemetery preservation, marine archeology, military history, historic county courthouse stewardship, state antiquities landmarks and the operation of 22 state historic sites.
Limbacher’s appointment extends her record of public service for historic preservation issues. She previously served on the City of Austin’s Historic Landmark Commission for 18 years, with 12 years as chair.
Texas Trails and Active Transportation Conference
On May 3rd, Alfred Godfrey is giving a seminar for the Texas Trails and Active Transportation Conference, that will visit several recent trail projects on or near Lady Bird Lake, Austin’s premier downtown trail system. Among the stops will be the boardwalk (1.3-miles long), an award-winning park restroom, an abandoned right-on-the-water industrial building (new use in progress) and a soon-to-be re-purposed 19th century railroad trestle. Attention will be paid to describing the park context and the urban context and how the two interact.
In southern New Mexico, surrounding the city of Las Cruces, five iconic mountain ranges rise above Chihuahuan Desert grasslands: the Robledo, Sierra de las Uvas, Doña Ana, Organ and Potrillo Mountains. In 2014, these mountains were established by presidential proclamation as the The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. The Dripping Springs Natural Area is a component of that monument.
Since its establishment, public interest and monument visitor numbers have spiked. Perhaps due to its convenient proximity to downtown Las Cruces, Dripping Springs has seen especially large increases. Concerned that growing visitor pressure could degrade both the natural resources and the user experience, the Bureau of Land Management commissioned The Dripping Springs Natural Area—2018 Overview Plan. Limbacher & Godfrey is playing a leadership role on the consultant team in both the planning and the public engagement process. The plan’s goal is to:
Preserve and protect the irreplaceable wilderness quality of the Dripping Springs Natural Area. Propose appropriate additions and renovations to the buildings and grounds that respect the fragility of this unique natural and historical setting, while also accommodating the growth in user demands.
This project is a collaboration with ASA Architects of Las Cruces, New Mexico.