De­mo­li­tion of Austin’s graf­fiti park ap­proved; new site is in the works

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE - By Con­nor Brown cbrown@states­man.com

Austin’s fa­mous graf­fiti park is one step closer to de­mo­li­tion, though the ar­rival of the wreck­ing ball is still a few months away.

The His­toric Land­mark Com­mis­sion on Mon­day evening unan­i­mously ap­proved the de­mo­li­tion of the HOPE Out­door Gallery at 1012 Bay­lor St., which will likely be re­placed with a multi-fam­ily unit de­vel­op­ment.

The down­town land­mark will re­main open through June while de­vel­op­ers de­ter­mine a time­line for con­struc­tion.

The beloved street art gallery will re­lo­cate later this year to Car­son Creek Ranch near the Austin-Bergstrom In­ter­na­tional Air­port, al­lot­ting 6 acres for ap­prox­i­mately 48,570 square feet of ex­tended wall space for artists.

The process of mov­ing the out­door gallery will not hap­pen overnight, as the His­toric Preser­va­tion Of­fice de­ter­mined the site can­not be de­mol­ished with­out “com­pre­hen­sive photo doc­u­men­ta­tion of ex­ist­ing con­di­tions,” for preser­va­tion at the Austin His­tory Cen­ter.

The de­vel­oper, Mid-City De­vel­op­ment, will be re­spon­si­ble for doc­u­ment­ing the area.

The gallery will also bring one of the walls from its cur- rent location to Car­son Creek Ranch as a memo­rial wall com­mem­o­rat­ing the art park’s roots, when it orig­i­nally launched as a place where street artists and graf­fiti writ­ers could legally prac­tice their craft on un­der­uti­lized HOPE Out­door Gallery walls and not be in fear or stress­ful con­di­tions.

Mid-City owner Brian Cumby agreed to de­lay de­vel­op­ment at the Bay­lor Street location un­til the gallery found a per­ma­nent home. Cumby and his firm also do­nated an undis­closed amount of money to fund the new park, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease.

Mid-City De­vel­op­ment was not avail­able Tues­day for com­ment.

Res­i­dents can sup­port the re­lo­ca­tion by vis­it­ing the HOPE Out­door Gallery web­site at hope­out­door­gallery. com or pur­chas­ing a per­son­al­ized brick that will be fea­tured at the new location with prices start­ing at $125 (visit hopecam­paign.org/ hope-art-park-fundraiser).

RALPH BARRERA / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

Austin’s His­toric Land­mark Com­mis­sion has ap­proved de­mo­li­tion of the HOPE Out­door Gallery at 1012 Bay­lor St. The gallery will re­lo­cate later this year to Car­son Creek Ranch near Austin’s air­port.

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