Apr 1, 2007, 4:17 PM
There are a couple of empty government buildings at the southeast corner of Colorado and W. Sixth. In an area that's so hot, I'm curious why they are sitting vacant. Does anyone know anything about them? Are there any plans to redevelop them?
Apr 1, 2007, 4:34 PM
You must be talking about the Starr State Office Building. Big ugly, red brick building with black and white stripes on the southwest side? It's empty right now. I found a website that is trying to save some murals inside the building. They didn't mention any plans about the building, however they do want to save the mural and possibly move it to the new federal courthouse once it's completed.
I'll email her and ask if she knows anything about the building's future. She also mentioned on her website that she had found the building's architectural plans, so I may also ask her about the height and anything else about it. I actually know very little about it. Since it's been vacant for quite some time, it's sort of been forgotten and there doesn't seem to be much info out there on it.
Here's a link to that website. They also have some pictures of the mural inside the building. I believe the building was built in 1954, as that's the year the mural was done. Apparently American National Bank who built the building, commissioned the mural.
Apr 1, 2007, 8:49 PM
workers have been throwing a lot of things into a dumpster on 6th in the last week or two. It would be a great place to build a highrise.
Apr 2, 2007, 5:49 PM
Ah, the Fogel Mural. It is such a cool mural. I was so pleased that there was an effort to move it. It will be a great asset to the new courthouse.That designs feels a bit like a museum to me as it is. I Acutually don;t think the building is ugly. I don't think it is cool enough to "go to bat" for......but we are sooooo starved for mid-century architectrue here..... I wish it had been given a bit more style. I do wish someone had the forsight to understand the basic qualities of the building and reuse it. If you remember, there was a small bank where Frost ended up that was a great "freshen up" of a midcentury bus station. I think this location has the same potential and....It could help provided a texture to the downtown that we need. I would guess we are a long way off, in demand terms, from needing that location for a highrise. Coulld be wrong.
Apr 2, 2007, 6:12 PM
Here's the email I got back about the building:
I do have a copy of the original architectural plans for the Starr building, but they are incomplete and don't have exterior information, so no elevation, square footage, etc. They are from the Austin History Center; they have other information there on the building and may have some of the answers you are seeking. My involvement with the building is solely around the mural that was commissioned for the building. I would recommend going to the Austin History Center were they have lots of information on buildings around town.
The building was purchased a few years ago by the General Land Office (GLO) to support an educational fund. The future plans for the building are in the hands of the GLO and my understanding is they have not yet determined what they will do with that property as of yet.
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