The man for whom history is bunk is almost invariably as obtuse to the future as he is blind to the past…J. Frank Dobie
Austin began with Shoal Creek sitting on the sidelines. Edwin Waller adopted Shoal Creek as the western edge of the new city, and his to-be namesake as the eastern boundary. Congress Avenue became the centerline.
No longer. Austin is upside down, inside out. The city sprawls past these edges into the white-rocked and cedar-treed hinterlands. Shoal Creek neighborhoods like Old Enfield and Pemberton Heights, renewed and revitalized, eject thousands of motorists each morning to wend their ways to downtown employment.
Austin has no Burnham Plan. Austin has no Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Austin has no Wissahickon. We improve our spaces on an ad hoc, piecemeal basis. Yet to become a great city, Austin will need great spaces like those designed by Daniel Burnham and Frederick Law Olmsted, fashioned with a Jacobsian sensitivity for the people.
Ted is exhibiting some of his Shoal Creek images for the next two weekends in Austin. See more this weekend at Ted’s Austin’s Thin Green Line show at the EAST Studio Tour. The tour is Saturday and Sunday the next two weekends from 11 to 6 at the Austin Parks Foundation office (507 Calles Street).
The past several months have been productive. In fact, I can’t recall a period when I have accomplished more. We have ginned out three major reports, organized my images into a major on-line gallery, traveled throughout the Caribbean to gather information for my report on Key Biodiversity Areas, and have spoken at a number of events and conferences including the National Extension Conference on Tourism in Detroit. As I write this quick update I am finishing interpretive plans for the eleven scenic byways in Kansas.