The transformation of Waterloo Park, located between Trinity and Red River Streets directly east of the Capitol, is the Waller Creek Conservancy’s first step towards making its ambitious vision for the restoration of the downtown creek’s greenbelt a reality. Last week’s groundbreaking event marked the beginning of a joint project with the City of Austin that, according to the conservancy, will deliver a world-class urban park by the end of 2019.
The conservancy starting its plan here makes good sense — Waterloo is the largest park space the organization plans to remodel, and once the project is complete its 11 acres will house an amphitheater, restaurant, about a mile of trails and more. As the signature piece of the overall Waller Creek plan, it’s going to be much easier to justify funding the rest of the project once the conservancy can point to a successfully completed Waterloo Park. Plus, just look at it!
But renderings and maps don’t really give you the same sense of place as something physical, and that’s why the Waller Creek Conservancy built a scale model of Waterloo Park, which will go on display to the public at Creek Show 2017 in November. Thanks to the folks at GenWaller, we’ve got an early look.
Needless to say, I’m a big fan of this project — and not just because it would allow me to walk from my office to Easy Tiger without seeing a car, although that’s pretty neat.
More importantly, it’s a big, forward-thinking plan in a city that so often seems content to plan precisely for only its most current needs, with little regard for the challenges of future growth and density. Downtown green spaces and safe bike routes are only going to become more critical as the city spreads in all directions — and as we’ve pointed out before, the area around Waterloo Park is going places.
All photos by James Rambin. Big ups to GenWaller for the sneak peek.