Austin will spend $31.7 million to preserve historic buildings

January 26, 2024

The city of Austin will direct $31.7 million to preserve and restore several historic buildings, iconic venues, museums and leisure spots. 

City council members recently approved a series of Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) grants, including nearly $12 million for capital projects. Of the capital projects, the city will use $11 million to rehabilitate a 1940’s-era bathhouse at Barton Springs, a spring-fed outdoor pool. Plans also call for improving the aquifer exhibits and education center in the bathhouse’s original basket area.

Over the years, the Barton Springs Bathhouse has deteriorated and fallen into disrepair. The city will restore the bathhouse by refurbishing critical parts of the changing rooms and entry rotunda, replacing the plumbing system, repairing the structure and improving access. The project is in the bidding and permitting phase.

Austin created the HPF program in 2018 to promote tourism by preserving, restoring and rehabilitating historic sites and properties. Including this year’s awards, the fund has provided a combined $80.4 million to support capital, planning, educational and marketing projects that embrace local history and heritage.

Austin will direct $3.6 million in Heritage Preservation Grants to restore 22 buildings citywide. This includes a pair of $250,000 grants to renovate the Paramount and Stateside theatres, $250,000 to repair and replace the Baker School’s windows and $237,000 to preserve the Henry G. Madison Log Cabin.

The city is also spending more than $1.7 million to support Parks and Recreation operations at six historic sites, including the O. Henry Museum, the Susanna Dickinson Museum and the Oakwood Chapel Visitor Center. Austin will spend $11.3 million to acquire land but did not offer additional specifics, according to city documents.   

Strategic Partnerships, Inc. can provide information on contract opportunities, plus existing and future government funding. For more information, contact

Photo by Spawnzilla

Paul Stinson

Paul Stinson has more than 15 years of journalism experience, including a decade covering the legislative and regulatory affairs of Texas, South Africa, and Germany for an affiliate of Bloomberg, L.P. His experience includes covering voting rights and the sectors of environment, energy, labor, healthcare, and taxes. Stinson joined the team in October as a reporter for SPI’s news publications, which include Government Contracting Pipeline, Texas Government Insider, and the newly-launched Government Market News. He is also a Fulbright Scholar to Germany, and an Arthur F. Burns Fellow. He holds a master’s in journalism from Indiana University.   

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