"There is desirable treasure,
And oil in the dwelling of the wise,
But a foolish man squanders it."
This courthouse campaign has been a fascinating process. While the cost of this bond was what originally caught our attention, we completely agree with the concerns others have expressed regarding parking and access for residents of the east side. We just learned about another objection to the current proposal we hadn't considered.
According to Austin towers, a local real estate blog, the current proposal would create a "dead zone" in the evening:
During a community forum hosted by AURA in July, Judge Shepperd talked about keeping the space “alive after five.” Keep Austin Wonky indicated that Judge Shepperd said it is a priority.Bottom Line: It takes a truly AWFUL proposal to create this many reasonable objections...congratulations Travis County!!!
Hat tip to Judge Shepperd for this comment. Can we now get some specifics?
We need only look to the federal courthouse on any given night. The thing is a mausoleum after the last gavel of the day slams.
At the time, the federal courthouse made sense. It erased a community embarrassment. But a dead building in Austin is not acceptable. Downtown Austin distinguishes our collective piece of dirt from every other post-WW2 American piece of dirt.
I’m pleased by Judge Shepperd’s comments; however, the community deserves more than a Judge voicing his opinion at a community event. The proposal from the Commissioners Court needs to include specific promises, and details on how those promises will be upheld, regarding how it will keep the courthouse “alive after five.”
It would be a shame if the courthouse is approved, only to box in Republic Square Park on another side with another nine-to-five security apparatus and five-to-nine mausoleum.
Lets encourage Judge Eckhardt and Judge Shepperd to start detailing how they will keep this space alive after five, and woven into the community fabric. The vast majority of Central Texans will never step foot into this proposed public building, and for them the missing details – how this proposal really fits with its surroundings – are the most important details of the entire Courthouse proposal.