The popular Preservation Austin Spring Tour will not only take place directly on April 30th, but will also deviate from the customs of top-notch guests in a domestic setting.
Indeed, everyone wants to see how their neighbors live, or live, while picking up hints on home design and decoration along the way.
But this year, a venerable Austin non-profit organization striving to maintain the city’s best architectural environment will introduce a tour of the non-domestic environment, “Out of the House.”
Some have recently been refurbished, such as the John and Dolce Chase Building in East Austin, designed by the first black architect at the University of Texas. Other county courthouses, such as the old Art Deco federal courthouse, are not open to the public without an internal business due to security concerns.
You may have been to a magical compound where the landscaping company Big Red Sun used to be, but like me, Richard Moya, the first Mexican-American to be elected to the County Commission, You probably didn’t know it was a childhood home. This wonderland is now functioning as a residence, office, and intimate event space.
Many old Austins attended Baker School in Hyde Park, but most haven’t returned because they were refurbished by their current owner, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Tim and Curry League. Includes offices and public spaces, such as the recently opened rosette of the art venue.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be in the 1870s Texas Military Institute building at Castle Hill. Still, you may have missed the court office of a nearby refurbished castle that was once a school kitchen and dining room.
The sacred walls of the beautifully crafted United Methodist Church of Wesley in East Austin have a lot of history. Many of the city’s most prominent African-American families are among its members.
The murals around the decommissioned Holly Street power plant shouldn’t have been built in a residential area in the first place, but neighbors and those who follow the Butler Hiking and Bike Trail around Lake Ladybird, which bypasses the wall. Is well known. ..
Take the time to taste the recently brightened work created for the Mexican-American community in your neighborhood.
For tour tickets ($ 30- $ 40), please visit reservationaustin.org/homes-tour. From 10 am to 5 pm on April 30th, vaccination proof is required for events starting at the “Home Base” of Baker School in Hyde Park.
The following image and a description of the eight stops were provided by Preservation Austin. They have been lightly edited.
Travis County Probate Court (1936)
The old federal court in downtown Austin is one of the best examples of a WPA modern-style city. Newly rehabilitated as the Travis County Probate Court, the building features a rich palette of sparkling marble, bronze and wooden panels throughout the interior space. The magnificent spiral staircase is a historic courthouse jewel of the court’s crown, with breathtakingly high ceilings and a meticulously restored Art Deco finish befitting this citizen’s proud beacon. To guide.
John & Dolce Chaseville (1952)
This mid-century modern building has served as a pillar of the black community in East Austin since it was designed by architect John S. Chase in 1952. Formerly the home of a state-wide association of African-American teachers and later the home of the Elegance Beauty Salon, the building was restored in 2021 by the University of Texas as the new home of the Community Engagement Center.
John Chase’s groundbreaking career began with UT. He was renamed in honor of Chase and his wife. Tour participants will first experience the newly reopened space, which features an interactive exhibit on the history of the building and the history of dictation from long-time residents of the Robertson Hill area.
Baker School (1911)
Located in the heart of Hyde Park’s historic center, this 1911 school building was purchased by Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas in 2017 and rehabilitated as the headquarters of this iconic Austin brand. Upon entering the building, visitors are carried by the features of an elementary school in the space, equipped with lockers, a blackboard and a cafe thorium. The former classroom now houses a creative corporate office, demonstrating the incredible adaptability of the historic space for modern use.
Moya House (around 1930s)
Located in East Cesar Chavez, this 1930s artisan-style bungalow was the home of pioneering Chicano activist Richard Moya for many years. Moya was the first Mexican-American to be elected to public office in Austin and Travis County in 1970. From the 1970s to the 1990s he turned his home into a hub of political activity and organization. The mansion later became the home of landscape design firm Big Red Sun and is now functioning as an event space with lushly designed grounds and gardens.
Wesley United Methodist Church (1929)
The United Methodist Church of Wesley, one of Austin’s oldest congregations, was founded in 1865 for the growing community of freedmen in Austin. Today’s Gothic Revival church of 1929 is a masterpiece of craftsmanship, featuring high ceilings clearly represented by exposed beams and intricate butres, with soft light shining through stained glass windows throughout. I’m out.
Castle Court Office (1873)
Formerly part of the Texas Military Institute campus, this rubble limestone building circa 1873 was built as a kitchen and dining room on the premises. After meticulous restoration by the current owner, the building now functions as a private office space, featuring a richly designed interior and original wooden floors, windows and doors. Located in Castle Hill Historic District, this rare gem of Austin’s history offers stunning views of the downtown skyline that you can’t miss.
Holly Street Mural
This collection of public art has deep ties to Austin’s Mexican-American community. On a healthy wall around the abandoned Holly Street power plant, a local artist painted a mural to regain the site’s identity for a neighbor who fought for decades to shut down a harmful factory. ..
Artist Felipe Garza gathered several artists in the community, including Robert Herrera, Oscar Cortez and Fidencio Duran, and created murals on the walls to celebrate the local heritage and make the industrial land more bearable. ..
Currently, many of the original murals remain and efforts are underway to preserve them. The ongoing restoration of these culturally significant murals represents the resilience of the community and the protection of El Vario.
Michael Barnes writes about the people, places, cultures and history of Austin and Texas. He can be contacted at [email protected]