Republic Square

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    Image by Michael Knox

  • Info

    Image by Michael Knox

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    Image by Miró Rivera Architect

Opening September 2017

Republic Square is an active, urban green space grounded in rich history that traces back to the birth of our city. The newly renovated square will be a place unlike any in Austin with daily programming, modern amenities, and a full-service café.

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Latest Updates

August 21st, 2017

City Council Approves Downtown Alliance Operating Plan

Last week, the Austin City Council approved the Downtown Austin Alliance’s operating plan for Republic Square. The Downtown Alliance will be responsible for the operations, management, and programming of Republic Square when it reopens.

The square will open in phases beginning in early September when the construction fencing comes down with the great lawn opening this fall. The official grand opening will be celebrated in spring 2018, at which point the square will offer full programming, public restrooms and a café serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Through a unique public-private partnership, the Downtown Alliance, Austin Parks Foundation, and the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department partnered to renovate the park and elevate its status once again as an important gathering place in the heart of downtown Austin.

“The revitalization of Republic Square has been years in the making, and the Downtown Austin Alliance is honored to play a significant role in supporting this Austin treasure,” - Dewitt Peart, president & CEO of the Downtown Alliance.

August 4th, 2017

Austin’s Newest Public Art Piece Complete at Republic Square

Blackbird, a new public artwork designed by local artist Holly Young-Kincannon, is now complete! Commission by Art in Public Places, the sculpture is an abstract realization of grackles, as well as the culture of music in Austin. The dark color and flamboyant details of the work draw inspiration from pottery and folk art of Oaxaca, Mexico. Blackbird is carved from Texas Cordova Cream limestone and coated with a black lacquer buffed to a luster finish. The surface pattern draws from Oaxacan-style pottery, and the bird’s tail will be cast bronze that will weather to a dark finish.


Info

Bird’s Eye View of the City of Austin, Travis County, Texas
Madison, WI: J.J. Stoner, 1873 Map #L-20 Courtesy of Austin History Center, Austin Public Library

May 15th, 2017

Our Austin Story Reveals Stories of Downtown Squares

The Downtown Austin Alliance, in partnership with the Austin Parks and Recreation Department, is developing a comprehensive interpretive strategy, known as Our Austin Story, for the three historic city squares: Brush, Republic and Wooldridge.

The goal of Our Austin Story is to find meaningful stories tied to these civic spaces that connect the people and places of Austin. The project included extensive community outreach through interviews, a steering committee, public meetings, and an online engagement portal to collect and record stories that demonstrate the diverse people and culture of Austin, both past and present. The project team is working to finalize the themes, stories and storylines collected through this process in order to develop a comprehensive strategy for park programming, interpretive signage, communications, and cultural district planning. Read the stories of Republic Square here.

Features

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    Image by Miró Rivera Architect

    Full-Service Café

    The newly renovated square will feature a full-service café in an urban outdoor setting. Surrounding the restaurant, visitors will enjoy ample seating and relaxing landscaping. The café building will also house well-maintained public restrooms.

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    Image by Kincannon Studios, LLC

    New Public Artwork

    Blackbird, a stunning, large-scale stone sculpture will sit among a grove of trees in the new Republic Square. This family-friendly artwork was commissioned by Art in Public Places and designed by local artist Holly Young-Kincannon of Kincannon Studios.

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    Image by Michael Knox

    Sustainable Food Center’s Downtown Farmers’ Market

    The Sustainable Food Center’s Saturday Farmers’ Market will continue to operate on W 4th Street and the adjacent Federal Courthouse Plaza during construction. After the square reopens, the market will move into the square in the promenade along W. 4th Street.

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    Image by Design Workshop

    Reserve the Square

    Host your event at downtown’s newest outdoor event venue. With capacity from 50 to 3500, Republic Square has options to suite your next special event. Contact us for more information about hosting an event in the square.

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    Image by Michael Knox

    Daily Programming and Featured Events

    The new Republic Square is a neighborhood meeting place. It is an active urban green space for downtown visitors, local residents, and nearby employees to enjoy. Republic Square will feature daily activities and regular events – with something for everyone!

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Getting There

422 Guadalupe Street, Austin TX 78701

The Story

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    Birds Eye Map of Austin, photograph, 1887; (accessed May 11, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Austin History Center, Austin Public Library

    Austin’s Birthplace

    Edwin Waller’s original design of Austin consisted of a grid with a central square (Capitol Square) and four smaller, secondary “public squares.” The first 306 lots of the city of Austin were sold at auction in 1839 under the Auction Oaks. In 1888, the squares were named Brush, Hamilton (now Republic), Bell (now Wooldridge), and Hemphill (no longer a public square).

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    Douglass, Neal. [Walker's Austex Chili Company], photograph, 1948; (accessed March 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.

    Roots of TexMex Cuisine

    The soul of Republic Square is food, and that food is TexMex. In early years, vendors would sell tamales and candies in the square. Walker’s Austex Chile Company, located near the square, employed many people from the local neighborhoods. The food tradition continues today with the Sustainable Food Center’s Downtown Farmers’ Market, held each Saturday morning at the square.

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    Image # AR.2009.047(012). Jesse Herrera Photography Collection

    Guadalupe Park

    By 1905, the neighborhood around Republic Square largely identified with Austin’s Mexican population. Three churches were established near the square, including Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. Locals at that time would call it “Guadalupe Park.” The square often hosted concerts and dances, church fundraisers, and the annual celebration of Mexico’s independence, Diez y Seis de Septiembre.

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    Image by Unknown

    1976: The Bicentennial

    After decades as a parking lot, Republic Square returned to its original purpose in 1976 as part of the U.S. Bicentennial celebration. The current name, Republic Square, was chosen then as a tribute to the Republic of Texas.

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