Another downtown Austin park is getting a facelift. Thanks to a $15 million grant from the Moody Foundation, Waterloo Park will soon be home to an amphitheater, which will host concerts, community events, and the performing arts.
The Moody Amphitheater, designed by Thomas Phifer & Partners, will be a "unique steel and translucent stage-house structure" with a great lawn large enough for 5,000 people. The revamped 11-acre park will also feature gardens, play areas, and 1.5 miles of trails. Construction is slated to begin this year and wrap up in 2019.
"The Moody Foundation has, once again, demonstrated extraordinary vision and leadership in support of our community," says Peter Mullan, Waller Creek Conservancy CEO, in a statement. "This historic gift for Waller Creek demonstrates the importance and value of investing in the public realm for Austin's future generations. The Moody Amphitheater will be a place where nature, culture, and community come together."
The park's makeover is part of the Waller Creek Conservancy's plan to transform the downtown corridor, connecting Waterloo Park to Lady Bird Lake with 37 acres of trails and prime green space. Dubbed the Waller Creek Park, the project includes updates to Palm Park, new public art installations, and more community events like the annual Creek Show.
"Waller Creek Park is an ambitious, transformative project that embraces our core Austin values and prepares for future growth and vitality," says Mayor Steve Adler. "The Moody Foundation's incredible gift challenges us all to realize this opportunity for the benefit of our entire city."
This grant is the largest philanthropic gift for Austin parks and public open space ever, and the Moody Foundation has been very generous to other local causes. Most notably, the Galveston-based organization gave Austin the funds to create the Moody College of Communication at UT, add a new rooftop space to The Contemporary Austin, and supply needed resources for the Central Texas Food Bank.
And Waterloo Park isn't the only downtown space under renovation. Republic Square is currently closed to make way for a new circular promenade, market area, cafe, and more.