A year and change after it closed to begin a $15 million renovation, Pease Park's Kingsbury Commons has reopened to the public, starting July 2.
Pease Park Conservancy and the Austin Parks and Recreation Department have given the southernmost seven acres of Pease Park a major upgrade as the first phase of the Vision Plan, "a blueprint that identifies strategies for the park’s recreational uses, cultural inventory, and natural resources restoration."
A $9.7 million gift from the Moody Foundation, in addition to major donations from private citizens and the community, made the renovation possible.
Austin-based Ten Eyck Landscape Architects, Inc. lead the design, with project management services provided by Project Management Advisors, Inc. and Ross Anders.
"Nothing in my life could have prepared me for the excitement of seeing this project come together. And it is going to be such a gift to the City of Austin," says Heath Riddles-Sanchez, CEO of Pease Park Conservancy.
Park-goers can now enjoy:
- A renovated Tudor Cottage and Terrace
- Unique nature play area
- State-of-the-art water play feature
- Amphitheater built into the hillside
- High school regulation-size basketball court
- Expansive great lawn
Kingsbury Commons is also now home to the one-of-a-kind Treehouse, a structure designed to imitate a seed pod resting on the forest floor. Austinites can gather underneath the Treehouse or traverse to the second story, where they will find themselves suspended among the park’s canopy of trees.
Pease Park Conservancy is now in charge of the operations and maintenance of Kingsbury Commons, as well as future programming.
"The investment that we have made here at Pease Park will be protected," says Riddles-Sanchez. "It will be maintained to your standards, our standards, and the community’s standards."
Parks and Recreation Department director Kimberly McNeeley adds, "I’m so excited to be able to have you finally re-enter this space in its new configuration, with many exciting amenities and lots of opportunities for families and multi generations to be able to enjoy this space. This is the pride and joy of the parks system. Welcome, welcome, welcome! Go out and play!”