Glory Glory!

Lakeside art museum Laguna Gloria to undergo multimillion-dollar transformation

Laguna Gloria to undergo multimillion-dollar transformation

The Contemporary Austin_Laguna Gloria _Lake Austin location
The former home of Clara Driscoll is undergoing the first phase of renovations. The Contemporary Austin/Facebook
Laguna Gloria renovation
New Orleans architecture firm Trahan Architects will be spearheading the construction.  Courtesy photo
Laguna Gloria renovation
Extended canopies will help provide shade.  Courtesy photo
The Contemporary Austin_Laguna Gloria _Lake Austin location
Laguna Gloria renovation
Laguna Gloria renovation

The majestic Laguna Gloria, home to The Contemporary Austin's sculpture park, Italianate Villa, and Art School, is about to get spruced up. Beginning this spring, the 14-acre lakeside retreat will kick off the first phase in a multi-year, multimillion-dollar renovation project.

Projects slated for phase one of Laguna Gloria's renovations include the creation of an arrival garden, retail space, and outdoor cafe, as well as the installation of extended canopies to shade guests as they amble around the grounds. A new entrance, complete with new works of art, including a colorful sculptural installation by celebrated American artist Jessica Stockholder, will greet visitors.

"We’re literally opening up walls along the new entryway, so there will be no mistake that all of Austin is welcome to enjoy the unique encounters with art and nature that can only be found at Laguna Gloria,” explained Louis Grachos, executive director and CEO of The Contemporary Austin, in a press release.

Architectural improvements will be minimalist in style and include steel and concrete features. In addition to New Orleans-based Trahan Architects and Boston-based landscape architecture firm Reed Hilderbrand, the museum is also working with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to spearhead an invasive species removal project.

The City of Austin will be collaborating with the museum on street parking improvements and sidewalk enhancements along West 35th Street, a project that any visitor to Laguna Gloria knows will greatly enhance the experience.

Collectively, the new arrival features will be known as the Moody Pavilions, named in honor of the Moody Foundation’s $3 million grant to The Contemporary Austin.

"We want to invest in spaces where the community can experience art in nature, and The Contemporary Austin’s project at Laguna Gloria aligned with our vision," said Ross Moody, Trustee of The Moody Foundation, in a release.

In addition to the Moody Foundation, the museum raised an additional $3 million in grants and private donations. Groundbreaking for phase one of the project will take place on March 21. Laguna Gloria will remain open throughout construction.