At Pease Park, a groundbreaking, and a pair of $1 million donations


The Pease Park Conservancy, along with city and state officials, broke ground today on the first phase of the major revitalization for the Austin park. And Conservancy CEO Heath Riddles announced two major gifts, each $1 million.

Lynne Dobson and husband Greg Wooldridge have donated $1 million for the new treescape and a dramatic treehouse play tower, the centerpiece of an expansive new play area. Dale Linebarger and former State Rep. Libby Linebarger donated $1 million to support restoration and adaptive repurposing of the park’s historic Tudor Cottage.

Both projects are part of Kingsbury Commons, the southernmost 10 acres of Pease Park, also the most-used area of the park with a playground, picnic tables, basketball court and main entrance. The groundbreaking ceremony marked the start of the construction phase of Kingsbury Commons.

Mayor Steve Adler called the Pease Park restoration “one of the most transformative projects we have going in this city. (This park) is a bridge between the past and the city’s present.”

Ten Eyck Landscape Architects is in charge of the masterplan for Kingsbury Commons, which includes a new park gateway, an interpretative pathway, a spring-fed water feature, new family-friendly restrooms, improved sports courts and numerous new native plantings. Clayton & Little Architects are adapting the 1920s Tudor Cottage to be a community gathering place with terraced seating. Mell Lawrence Architects have designed the spherical metal mesh treehouse play structure.

Created in 1875 and Austin’s first public park, Pease is an 84-acre series of connected greenspaces running along Lamar Boulevard from West 15th to West 31st Streets and traversed by Shoal Creek. The Conservancy is a private non-profit currently in the process of developing a partnership agreement with the city of Austin to assume a greater responsibility for the ongoing maintenance of Pease Park.

The completion of the new Kingsbury Commons is estimated to be in the spring of 2021. Pease Park Conservancy is working with the city on a partnership agreement for the operation and maintenance of Kingsbury Commons.

The Conservancy has raised $13.2 million toward its $15 million goal, including a $9.7 million gift from the Moody Foundation in 2017.

Jeanne Claire van Ryzin
Jeanne Claire van Ryzin
An award-winning arts journalist, Jeanne Claire van Ryzin is the founder and editor-in-chief of Sightlines.

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