In 2007, the Austin city council began to draft a downtown development plan that incentivizes downtown density; but to many, fail to provide protection for most historic sites, including the Capitol View Corridors and mid-century buildings. Preservationists have urged the city to articulate a vision for Austin that includes the preservation of its historic buildings, which are currently outlined in the "Austin Downtown Plan" and the "Land Development Code".
The current development trends on and around existing historic structures has increasingly become a controversial topic in todays fast paced developments. Some find it interesting to see contemporary architecture sprouting out of the historic structures, while others would rather see the historic buildings untouched. Either way the historic structure's appearance, relevance and integrity should be respected.
Here are some examples of such developments:
Element 5 Architecture has been asked to perform a feasibility study for such a mixed-use development on a building in the east 6th Street corridor, which is a Federally Registered Historic District. The proposed mixed-use design consists of excavating and renovating the basement level, a ground level restaurant and leasable office space, a level 2 roofdeck and leasable office space and a third level private residence with viewing terrace and pool. Below are pictures of the existing structure along with some conceptual images of the proposed development, which have been approved by Austin's Historic Landmark Commission.
Conceptual images of proposed development