A Fresh Face
Austin Parks Foundation is at the forefront of an effort to honor Republic Square’s historic past and elevate its status once again to an important community gathering place in the heart of downtown Austin.
Beginning in 2012, a collaborative process led by Austin Parks Foundation, PARD and the Downtown Austin Alliance solicited input from community stakeholders to guide the design consultants, Design Workshop, in planning for this important public space. Planning resulted in several priorities for Republic Square’s future:
- Aesthetics that reflect the character and spirit of downtown Austin
- Preservation of the historic features, and celebration of the park’s history
- A programming plan that balances planned activities and informal park use
- A sustainable ongoing maintenance and operations plan
The redevelopment of Republic Square will be based around a circular promenade which connects pedestrians to all four corners of the park, creates dynamic edge conditions and provides a flexible, central lawn for activities. Regional materials will be used for the hardscape, which is inspired by the layering of local creeks and waterways.
Design Elements & Amenities
The existing deck (which also serves as a stage oriented toward the main lawn) and interpretive materials related to the Auction Oaks will be preserved, and a series of low, curved walls following the circular pattern of the park will provide new seating.
The arc promenade area will provide generous space for strolling, seating on almost all edges, park furnishings and interesting views across the park.
The plaza area connects Republic Square Park to the Federal Courthouse plaza, and is a flexible space that can accommodate events such as the farmers’ market, but also includes café–style seating for a future food concession.
The market area includes spaces intended for both event use and daily community use. It can accommodate seating and support informal programming such as games or a mobile library cart.
Modest structures which blend into the park setting will increase park amenities. A food kiosk will offer food sales to park visitors, while a support building will provide public restrooms, park storage and maintenance support.