Loudon Wainright III travels a lot, and when he travels, he looks for cool swimming spots. In his recent New York Times piece, The 10 Best Places to Swim in the World, According to Me, he names two Austin swimming spots with Limbacher & Godfrey connections—Deep Eddy Pool and Barton Springs Pool.
Deep Eddy and Barton Springs are both spring-fed, and are the two most-visited pools in Austin. Limbacher & Godfrey has done substantial architecture and planning work at both historically-significant sites. The firm is currently engaged in the rehabilitation of the Barton Springs Pool Bathhouse.
Historic Austin Federal Courthouse
This depression-era Moderne architecture courthouse building has served as both a practical and visual Federal presence among nearby municipal and private historic buildings in downtown Austin since it was completed in 1936.
It remains a handsome 4-story limestone-clad presence with an exterior defined by fluted, reed-like pilasters, decorative metal grilles and a carved stone parapet. Its interior has both Art Deco and Art Moderne finishes including marble-clad lobbies and corridors.
On December 29, 2016, Travis County received deed to the building from the U.S. Government with a covenant that stipulates that the building’s historic integrity be preserved. The County intends to use it for its Probate Court, and is committed to the preservation of the building. To that end, it awarded the restoration assignment to a multi-disciplinary team that includes Limbacher & Godfrey in a leadership role. Limbacher & Godfrey will lead during the programming and the schematic design phases, and will continue in a senior advisory capacity through to project completion. The project will require coordination with the State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service. The Historic Austin Federal Courthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Seaholm Waterfront Project
Alfred Godfrey was moderator for a panel discussion, “SEAHOLM WATERFRONT PROJECT: Planning in Progress with Studio Gang”. The Seaholm Intake facility is an iconic Art Deco design that was once the pump house for the now-decommissioned Seaholm Power Plant.
In the Spring of 2017, the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Austin Parks Foundation and The Trail Foundation undertook a collaborative planning study, fully funded by APF and TTF and led by internationally recognized architecture and urbanism firm Studio Gang.
When completed in the Fall, the study will provide the City of Austin with the programming, phasing, operational and financial model to develop a world class public facility that will respect the historic significance of the Seaholm Intake structure.
The session was a component of the AIA Summer Conference 2017. Mr. Godfrey is a Trail Foundation board member.
South Central Waterfront District Plan
Alfred Godfrey has accepted an invitation to join the South Central Waterfront Advisory Board. This newly-created board is charged with guiding implementation of the South Central Waterfront District Plan, which strives to be a model for how a district-wide green infrastructure system paired with quality urban design and an interconnected network of public spaces, streets, lakeside trails and parks can provide an inspired framework for redevelopment. Mr. Godfrey believes that a transformed South Central Waterfront District can not only become a great new neighborhood in the central city and a destination in itself, but can also serve as an iconic gateway from South Austin into Downtown and the Texas Capitol.
Barton Springs Pool Bathhouse Restoration and Rehabilitation
Limbacher & Godfrey has been commissioned to restore and rehabilitate the historic Bathhouse at Barton Springs Pool. This project will extend their work at the Pool that began with their Barton Springs Pool Master Plan in 2008. It will also add to their collection of projects that includes some of Austin’s most historic and iconic natural outdoor spaces, such as the Historic Deep Eddy Pool Bathhouse Rehabilitation and the Boardwalk on Lady Bird Lake.
Barton Springs Pool is a two-acre, spring-fed pool in the heart of the city, and it is frequently listed as one of the top swimming holes in Texas. The Bathhouse was built in 1947, and was designated a City of Austin Landmark in 1990. It is a State Antiquities Landmark, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Alfred Godfrey speaks in Mexico City
Alfred Godfrey has been invited to speak at the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana in Mexico City at their “Future Perspectives for Design Education” forum, hosted by the Division of Arts and Sciences (CYAD). Mr. Godfrey will present recent work of the firm, and place it in the larger context of public/private partnerships and how they have influenced design in the public realm in the United States. His talk is scheduled for February 28th.
Texas Architect Magazine features the Boardwalk
The September/October Texas Architect design awards issue features a four-page article on the Boardwalk on Lady Bird Lake. Notable among the many observations:
“Everything about it is a success as a piece of public architecture. It kind of reinvents the very public idea of a promenade. I think it’s a fabulous example to be followed with urban design going forward.”
Clive Wilkinson, FAIA
TxA design award juror
Texas Architect is, “The Voice for Texas Architecture.” Jack Murphy, Associate AIA, wrote the article.
Architecture in the Public Realm
Alfred Godfrey offered a course for the 2016 AIA Austin Summer Conference, titled: ARCHITECTURE IN THE PUBLIC REALM; The Influence of Public/Private Partnerships. The session discussed the emerging role of PPPs in shaping our parks and outdoor spaces, and how that can impact professional project delivery. It offered an introduction to the Public/Private Partnership model and how it works. A brief history pays special attention to PPPs in Central Texas.
Laurie Limbacher; Invited Design Awards Juror
Laurie Limbacher has joined an invited selection of architects from across the nation to juror for AIA Colorado’s 2016 Design Awards program. The winning projects will be recognized for their use of materials, aesthetics, use of space and design. Winners will be announced at the Awards Gala in Glenwood Springs, Colorado on August 26th.
Eliza Spring Daylighting
Based on recommendations from Limbacher & Godfrey’s 2009 Barton Springs Master Plan, the City is planning for construction of a “ daylighting” project for Eliza Spring. Eliza Spring holds a unique position in both the cultural and the ecological history of the park. It is the home of the most robust population of the Barton Springs Salamander, and its concrete amphitheater construction is credited to Andrew Zilker himself. In building this open-to-the-sky spring run, the City will enhance salamander habitat to improve the long term recovery of the species.
More information on the “daylighting” project can be found here: http://www.austintexas.gov/department/eliza-spring-daylighting.
Deep Eddy Newspaper Article
In her June 24th Austin-American Statesman article, “Deep Eddy Pool Celebrates 100th Year Birthday This Summer”, Pam LeBlanc traces the colorful history of the site and quotes Laurie Limbacher, noting Limbacher & Godfrey Architects’ bathhouse renovation of 2007. Here is Laurie’s quote:
“I think it’s remarkable the devotion people have to the site even now”. It’s such a beautiful and iconic place, and the experience of swimming in a spring-fed pool is not something people get to do every day. It’s a happy convergence of a historically significant place that maintains its relevance to park users today.”
In support of the May 21st celebration of Deep Eddy’s 100-year anniversary, Laurie Limbacher and Alfred Godfrey led a tour focusing on the history of the site dating as far back as the 1850s. Deep Eddy is the site of a spring-fed swimming pool with a long history as an Austin recreation destination. Limbacher & Godfrey Architects’ renovation of its WPA bathhouse was completed in 2007.