By: Emma Lindrose-Siegel, Executive Director, Barton Springs Conservancy
About Barton Springs Conservancy: Barton Springs Conservancy honors, preserves and enhances the experience of Barton Springs through education and facility improvements. Our vision is to contribute to the environmental, educational, recreational, historical and cultural well-being of this beloved treasure of our community.
Tell us about your most memorable day (so far) in your work at Barton Springs Conservancy.
My most memorable day—so far—was when a quorum of Austin City Council members and the Mayor came out to Barton Springs Pool on October 11 for “Council Cleans the Pool Day.” During Councilmember Flannigan’s remarks that morning, he aptly summed up what Barton Springs has done for our city calling it “everyone’s pool.” Barton Springs is an iconic, special place that builds community and belonging, and it belongs to everyone.
How has the community or your peers benefited from work funded by the Moody Foundation?
As a local green spaces advocate, Ross Moody has made a big impact in Austin, especially in my world of outdoor and parks enthusiasts. The Moody Foundation’s tremendous philanthropic investment from the urban world of Waller Creek to the development of Pease Park is felt throughout our community, and we are honored and thankful to share their love of Barton Springs.
What are you using the funds for? Why is that significant?
This generous gift will rehabilitate the iconic, historic Barton Springs Bathhouse. After serving millions of parkgoers and swimmers for over 70 years, the Bathhouse is in desperate need of repair and rehabilitation. The rehabilitation will return the historic Bathhouse to its original splendor while making the facility usable for modern needs. This is significant because it will help ensure the Barton Springs Bathhouse can continue serving our community and visitors from around the world.
What is the timeline of the Barton Springs Pool Bathhouse rehabilitation project?
The design work for the rehabilitation is well underway with the final design anticipated for next summer. The City of Austin will then commence the development of construction documents and the bidding process with construction anticipated in early 2020.
What are the goals for Barton Springs Conservancy and its initiatives in the next several years?
The immediate goal of Barton Springs Conservancy is to complete the rehabilitation of the iconic Barton Springs Bathhouse, a historical and architectural treasure that serves as a community gathering spot at Barton Springs Pool in Zilker Park. It connects us to our past, gathering swimmers and other park users together and helping to tell the story of our environmental, cultural and historical values.
Originally designed by architect Dan Driscoll and built in 1947, the historic Bathhouse is organized around a central transaction area flanked by two open-air dressing areas. Today, it is in desperate need of restoration and renovation. With the City of Austin, Barton Springs Conservancy plans to rehabilitate the historic Barton Springs Bathhouse by restoring the rotunda and dressing areas and making the facilities usable for modern needs.
Additionally, Barton Springs Conservancy is expanding education initiatives in and around Barton Springs and is working with the City of Austin towards the creation of a Visitor’s Education Center for Zilker Park.
How many people do you hope to serve with these projects?
With very few structural modifications since it was built, the Bathhouse has served millions of parkgoers and swimmers in the past 70 years. It is our hope with this successful rehabilitation to serve millions more over the next 70 years.