Thanks to a $15 million grant, the largest gift ever given for parks and public space in Austin – Waterloo Park will be getting an outdoor amphitheater.
The Waller Creek Conservancy announced on Feb. 5 that the Moody Foundation gave the gift in support of the revitalization of Waller Creek. That project, which will restore more than 37 acres of public green space along Waller Creek, connects a chain of parks from Lady Bird Lake to the University of Texas Dell Medical School.
Waterloo Park is one of the parks that is transforming into a part of the larger Waller Creek Park, and the new Moody Amphitheater will be the centerpiece of that area’s transformation, Waller Creek Conservancy said.
“We are so proud to support this extraordinary project,” said Ross Moody, Trustee of The Moody Foundation in a statement. “We believe Waller Creek Park will have a transformative impact on the city for the benefit of generations of Austinites. The Moody Amphitheater will enhance Austin’s parks and green space and be a cultural hub that brings together friends, families, and children throughout Texas. We hope that The Moody Foundation’s support will encourage both government and philanthropy alike to follow suit and accelerate the execution of the entire Waller Creek project.”
The amphitheater will be designed by Thomas Phifer & Partners, and will feature a steel and translucent stage-house structure. The amphitheater will also include a great lawn that will accommodate 5,000 people for concerts and performing arts events.
The new Waller Creek Park includes the creation of continuous pedestrian and cycling trail from the Butler Trail to UT Austin and a new pedestrian bridge across Lady Bird Lake; the reconstruction and restoration of the lower one-and-a-half-mile Waller Creek into a sustainable riparian ecological system; the transformation of Waterloo Park and Palm Park into highly programmed urban destination parks, and the creation of new park space along Waller Creek between 7th and 9th Streets. Waller Creek Park will be the spine of a revitalized urban district on the east side of downtown Austin.
The Waller Creek revitalization is part of a partnership between the nonprofit Waller Creek Conservancy and the City of Austin. Landscape architects Michael Van Valkenberg and Associates and engineering firm BIG RED DOG are part of the team heading up the work.
Groundbreaking for the work in Waterloo Park, including the amphitheater, will take place later this year, with a projected opening in 2019.