Historic Landmark CommissionNov. 16, 2022

10 - CAUDI - presentation — original pdf

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CITY OF AUSTIN CONGRESS AVENUE URBAN DESIGN INITIATIVE: BRIEFING November 16, 2022 City of Austin Historic Landmark Commission Architectural Review Committee Presentation This image from the 2011 Downtown Austin Plan illustrates the centrality of the "Main Street of Texas," Congress Avenue. PURPOSE OF TODAY'S BRIEFING • Familiarize you with the Congress Avenue Urban Design Initiative Project • Discuss the historic designations and design components in development, including options for structures on the Ann W Richards Congress Ave Bridge • Solicit your thoughts about the appropriateness of the design directions presented 1913 Postcard View of the Avenue (AHC C02001) The 1910 original bridge was 50'-wide and carried a trolley line. In 1980 the bridge was substantially widened, and the above-deck features lighting and guardrails were changed to more highway-type elements. INTRODUCTION & KEY PARTNERS CITY OF AUSTIN (OWNER) • Craig McColloch, Project Manager (Austin Public Works - PWD) • Laura Dierenfield and Nathan Wilkes (Sponsoring Department: Austin Transportation Department - ATD) • Jorge Rousselin, Urban Design Division Manager (Housing & TECHNICAL ADVISORY GROUP • Stakeholder representatives from City departments and other Planning) agencies DOWNTOWN AUSTIN ALLIANCE • Amalia Carmona HDR CONSULTANT TEAM (here today) • Benedict Patrick, Project Manager; Lee Frieberg, Project Professional (HDR); Terri Asendorf Hyde, Historic Resources (HDR) • Jana McCann, FAIA, Lead Architect (McCann Adams Studio) Public Event #2 in 2018 had activations and pop-up events along the Avenue demonstrating potential streetscape design elements. THE HDR CONSULTANT TEAM CONGRESS URBAN DESIGN INITIATIVE • A partnership of the City of Austin and the Downtown Austin Alliance (DAA). • Encompasses Congress Avenue (11th St to Riverside Dr), ~1.2 miles in length. • The guiding document is the Vision Plan formed through a community process between 2017-2019. • Initial design and construction funding was allocated through the City's 2020 Active Transportation & Safety Bond. • Phase 1 will complete 30% design plans for the entire Project Limits and an initial construction phase. • The Design Team is about 5 months into an18-month process. THE CONGRESS AVENUE URBAN DESIGN INITIATIVE VISION PLAN HISTORIC RESOURCES: FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL COMPLIANCE NRHP-Listed Historic Districts and contributing properties: • Congress Avenue Historic District • Sixth Street Historic District (The City's Historic Design Standards (Sites and Streetscapes section) will be applied to both HDs. The Congress Ave HD also has a building step-back code regulation for new development.) NRHP-Eligible Resources: • Congress Avenue Bridge (The Secretary of the Interior Standards should be applied, as well as the Texas Historical Commission's (THC) Streetscape Guidelines for Historic Commercial Districts.) From the THC Historic Sites Atlas showing both HDs and individually-listed or NRHP eligible structures. THE VISION PLAN: "BALANCE THE AVENUE" The Vision Plan laid the foundation "for a more balanced distribution of space that accommodates a variety of mobility options and creates more space for pedestrian activities." THE BRIDGE, PER THE VISION PLAN "...create a stronger connection to Downtown Austin for all modes of travel and include elements that strengthen the bridge’s identity and improve safety and comfort....” The Vision Plan proposes locations for both gateway and intervention opportunities. THE BRIDGE – RESPECTING THE 1910 ARCHES The elegant and historic concrete arches and buttressed piers of the original bridge remain a strong architectural expression when viewed from the river itself or the parkland areas of both shores. Any new canopies, lighting poles and outlooks should reinforce the strong structural expression of the 1910 bridge. Comparison of the1910 bridge elevation (above) to the 1980 widened bridge (below) BRIDGE CANOPIES AND OVERLOOKS Design Considerations 1. Consider the impact of any structures in terms of scale: human, lake and city. 2. The canopy design should frame the gateway view to Downtown and signal the importance of the “Main Street of Texas”. 3. Canopies should be located at the pedestrian overlook(s) and should provide shade for pedestrians and bikes/scooters. 4. Any new, vertical structure must remain clear of the Capitol View Corridor #6. (The CVC #6 viewpoint starts at the center of the intersection of Live Oak St @ S Congress Ave, and its lower plane cuts at ~150' above the existing bridge deck.) +30' +24' +18' +10' +1' 11' Travel Lane 11' Travel Lane Barrier 1' 6' Bike Lane 3' 8.5' Sidewalk 3.5' 3' Buffer/ Amenity Zone BRIDGE CANOPIES & OVERLOOK IDEAS We will study how we can expand the pedestrian space of the bridge, by adding a modest cantilevered extension that could be implemented on both sides of the bridge continuously, and/or by adding up to an 18'-wide extension to create one or more overlooks. Cross-section of bridge showing both 18'-wide and 4'-wide cantilevered extension options that will be studied. BRIDGE CANOPIES & OVERLOOK IDEAS "CONSISTENT" ELEMENTS We propose the following elements be consistent: • Maintain consistent street tree alignment. • Maintain consistent street light pole alignment. • Use same larger-format pavers in Storefront and Walking zones, and smaller permeable pavers in Amenity Zone. • Employ the already-designed Downtown wayfinding system. Street trees help to establish the space of the street and the building frontage zones, and also frame views to the Capitol, as illustrated by the tree lines on Pennsylvania Ave in Washington DC. LIGHTING The location of lighting poles will likely be changing for both the Avenue and the bridge. There are at least 3 options for poles and luminaires to consider: • Retrofit existing, green1980s light pole and add a lower arm with a pedestrian fixture, per the Vision Plan (recommended by Vision Plan, but retrofit not recommended by Austin Energy); • Relocate1980s pole and add new ped pole light in between street lighting poles; and • Remove1980s pole and bridge poles, and install new, contemporary poles with both roadway and ped luminaires that create a signature statement and are capable of advanced features. SEATING & FURNISHINGS Since the mid-1980s streetscape renovation, the above family of furnishings was selected: the above bench, planter, litter bin, and streetlight – all the same dark green color. Since then, a wide array of furnishings along Congress Avenue have been installed, including the "Great Streets" bench (right), which disrupts the branding shown above. Should the Project re-brand all the key furnishings so there is a consistent identity? QUESTIONS AND DISCUSSION