Introducing Waterloo Greenway

With the first park re-opening in a year, Waller Creek Conservancy rebrands itself

The Moody Pavilion under construction in Waterloo Park, part of the newly named Waterloo Greenway.

Waller Creek Conservancy and its signature project have a new name: Waterloo Greenway.

The announcement was made today at a gathering of city leaders, including Mayor Steve Adler, as well as project supporters. The mayor declared August 22 as Waterloo Greenway Day.

Now called Waterloo Greenway Conservancy, the non-profit organization, in partnership with the City of Austin, is in the process of creating an urban park system along a restored Waller Creek running from Waterloo Park at Fifteenth Street through downtown to Lady Bird Lake. Since its launch in 2011, the revitalization project has been referred to, among other names, as Waller Creek Park or the Waller Creek Chain of Parks.

“This is a major turning point for us,” said Peter Mullan, Waterloo Greenway CEO. “Up until now, our vision was aspirational; it was a concept, a collection of places and ideas, and it lacked a name to unify it. Now, it is tangible — something we can live, feel, and experience together. Our new brand recognizes the evolution from an ambitious idea to a wondrous destination that will be beloved by all Austinites.” 

Opening in fall 2020, the re-imagined Waterloo Park will be the first completed phase of Waterloo Greenway.  It will be anchored by the sleek Moody Amphitheater, designed by architects Thomas Phifer & Partners, a venue that will accommodate 5,000 attendees for concerts, cultural and performing arts events. The surrounding 11-acre park will have one-and-a-half miles of trails, heritage trees and wetland gardens, elevated promenades, and play spaces.

Waterloo Greenway was chosen as a name in part because of its historical resonance.

The first permanent Anglo settlers to the area arrived in the 1830s and called their tiny settlement Waterloo. By 1839 the place was declared the capital of the new Republic of Texas and named for Stephen F. Austin. Edwin Waller, for whom Waller Creek is named, become the city’s first mayor in 1840, and laid out a street plan that has survived largely intact.

Edwin Waller, however, was also a slave owner, a fact that conservancy leaders said informed their decision to not recognize Waller in the organization’s new name.

The name Waterloo still circulates in Austin parlance, used in brand names for everything from an indie record store to locally-produced sparkling water.

Waterloo Greenway’s brand identity was created by Bruce Mau Design. The organization has a new website and social media handles (@waterloogreenway).

Waterloo Greenway is funded by a combination of public and private funds. The total estimated project cost is $250 million. The City of Austin has committed approximately $150 million through a combination of bond funding, the Waller Creek Tax Increase Reinvestment Zone, and other sources. The conservancy will raise the remaining $100 million.