While you can “like” a facebook post or re-tweet from the comfort of your home or office, it is another thing to brave traffic, parking, and sometimes the weather to come out in support of the conservancy.
We have been inspired by all of the Austinites who have attended our design competition events this year. Thank you. Austin clearly understands that Waller Creek is an important and transformative project.
At “Meet Your Designers Night” on May 15th, we were at standing room only in the Blanton Auditorium as the four final design teams presented their past work and design philosophies for Waller Creek.
When the designs arrived in Austin this September, we had both a stationary and mobile display of the design concept presentation boards. The stationary display was housed at Laguna Gloria for 2 weeks. During that time we also moved another set of 36 enormous display boards (8 for each team), along with their custom-made display system (designed and built for us by Alisa West) to locations around the city. We received countless calls from people interested in viewing hours and details about the displays. Inevitably whenever we arrived at a display location to tear-down and move the boards, there would be people lingering, hoping to get every last glimpse they could of the designs before they were moved.
We met one family visiting from Pennsylvania that had visited the stationary display at Laguna Gloria, then taken a trip to Waller Creek to walk and snap photos, finally returning to a mobile display location so they could better picture what the designs would look like if they became realized along Waller.
On October 3rd in Council Chambers, our four design teams returned to Austin to make a final presentation to the design competition jury about their design concepts. City Hall was busy at this all-day event. All four, one and a half hour presentations were packed to capacity.
When the selected design team was announced to City Council at their October 18th meeting, again Council Chambers looked like a sardine can as interested Austinites came out to learn the news of the selected team.
We are grateful and encouraged by Austin’s support of the conservancy over these past few months. Many people took off work or went out of their way to attend a presentation or view the design boards. This is just further proof that Waller Creek is a priority and incredible opportunity for the city. Please stay informed of our updates and future events—we expect to see our devoted followers and new faces too. With the announcement of our selected team, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. and Thomas Phifer & Partners, we can only imagine that this momentum will keep building.