Hyde Parkers To Mark the End of the Year in Grand Style

This year’s annual HPNA-sponsored party to celebrate the holidays will be held at the Elisbet Ney Museum on Sunday, December 14, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Light hors d’oeuvres, white wine, and bubbles will be served, along with hot cocoa and sweets.  Outside, there will be a holiday classic movie running, so partygoers should remember to bring a warm blanket for cuddling up!  The weather has been asked to cooperate.

Neighbors and friends will be invited to write personal wishes for the coming New Year on tags provided at the party. These wishes will then be tied to branches of the community “Wish Tree” inside the museum. Wishes can also be written and tied to the tree any time after December 15 through January 5.  The museum is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m.

HPNA Holiday Party 2014

In the spirit of the giving season, attendees are asked to consider bringing an unwrapped gift for our neighbors at Helping Hand Home for Children, which provides a nurturing and healing setting for children who have suffered severe abuse and neglect. Recommended donations include gift cards in any denomination to Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, or JCPenney. A complete wish list can be found on the Helping Hands website.

If you haven’t already, please consider joining the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association for just $5 a year ($1 for those 65 or older, $6 online). Membership signup will be available at the party.

This is a very special occasion for residents and friends to relax, socialize and enjoy this very special community which is Hyde Park.  And of course, a huge thank you is due to the co-host, the Elisabet Ney Museum, for generously opening its doors for this event and for being a part of our community.   For more information, email Tammy Young.

–Tammy Young

Event Chair

Fire Station Festival 2014 Pictures

Lizzie Chen - Fire Station Festival 2014

Photo Credits: Lizzie Chen

Bill McCullough - Fire Station Festival 2014

Photo Credits: Bill McCullough

Deaton Bednar - Fire Station Festival 2014

Photo Credits: Deaton Bednar

Kailey Griffin - Fire Station Festival 2014

Photo Credits: Kailey Griffin

Suzanna Griffin - Fire Station Festival 2014

Photo Credits: Suzanna Griffin

Victoria Goodman - Fire Station Festival 2014

Photo Credits: Victoria Goodman

Window on Hyde Park

This haunted house was just one of many that dotted the streets of Hyde Park this Halloween. Decked out in costumes of all sorts, hundreds and hundreds of children and their families from Hyde Park and around the city took to neighborhood streets as “trick or treaters” on a beautiful fall evening. The biggest throngs were to be seen along Avenues F and G. If one tried to drive a car anywhere near there on Halloween, the goblins probably got the driver, passengers, and the automobile too.

Hyde Park Halloween House

Voting Matters at December 1, 2014 HPNA Meeting

At the HPNA general meeting on December 1, 2014, the following resolutions will be voted on. The first two resolutions concern proposed zoning change to allow a restaurant at 4500 Speedway. The third resolutions concern City resolutions regarding accessory dwelling units. A vote on this third resolution occurred at the November meeting, but later was declared invalid because the resolution was not posted in all required venues. (This third resolution was also up for a vote at a special called meeting of the Contact Team on November 17.)

In order to vote, one must be a dues-paid member of HPNA for a period of 30 days before the vote takes place.

Resolution One

The Hyde Park Neighborhood Association does not support the zoning change and the changes to the neighborhood plan.

Resolution Two

The Hyde Park Neighborhood Association supports the restaurant with minimal zoning changes.

Resolution Three

City Council resolutions concerning Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) should not override the neighborhood planning process or neighborhood plans.  Therefore the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association does not support a city-wide or blanket policy change pertaining to the construction of ADUs, such as resolution #20140612-062 passed by the City Council on June 12, 2014.  We see our neighborhood plan, which grew out of a process of civic participation, as central to maintaining the character and the quality of life of our neighborhood.

Fire Station Festival Celebrates Its 40th Year

On October 19, Hyde Park neighbors and firefighters rallied in celebration of the 40th Annual Fire Station Festival. Hundreds and hundreds of neighbors were in attendance. Each year, the festival marks a time to be thankful for the fact that Fire Station 9 is still up and running after it was first threatened with closure 40 years ago. Initially organized by Hyde Park resident Dorothy Richter, the fall festival represents a rich history of community-building and advocacy.

Festivities were kicked off in Shipe Park with a lively parade along Avenues G and F and down 43rd St. Excitement was high as children, parents, and even pets donned their Halloween best and marched to the beat of the Eastside High School Panther Drum Line. Led by a Station 9 fire truck, the rear was brought up by recognizable neighborhood vehicles like Carol and Amos Burton’s red truck. When nearing the fire station, kids on bikes, scooters, and foot rushed ahead of the banner to meet the hefty crowd that had already gathered.

Everyone needs a hand sometimes. Photo: Lizzie Chen

Everyone needs a hand sometimes. Photo: Lizzie Chen

Festivalgoers were then treated to a drumline performance and, later, music by Eggjam, a Beatles tribute group who regaled the audience with banter between playing best-loved tunes on request.

Younger attendees enjoyed a good offering of activities including hair sculpture, henna, and face painting. Plenty of games were also available to play for prizes; and as a testament to the fun being had, kids were seen carrying plastic fire hats brimming with goodies. When asked if he enjoyed playing hoops, four-year-old Jack (sometimes known as Spiderman) could only smile. His mother had more to say. “We come every year. My oldest loves the photo booth, and it’s just a great time. We’ll definitely be back.”

These attendees hone their firefighting techniques. Photo: Lizzie Chen

These attendees hone their firefighting techniques. Photo: Lizzie Chen

Of course, the annual Fire Station Festival would be incomplete without a few firefighters walking around, and this year there were plenty more than usual to share in the fun. Lieutenant Wiese spoke of the behind-the-scenes excitement at the firehouse. “We look forward to this every year. We appreciate the support we get around here because it’s not common around the city, where plenty of fire stations shut down and people don’t care. That is definitely not the case here.” Fireman Fry, who was selling T-shirts for the event, agreed with the sentiment, adding that he was amazed at the community interest in Station 9 compared to similar events at other stations where he’s worked.

The drum line gets ready to rock the neighborhood. Photo: Lizzie Chen

The drum line gets ready to rock the neighborhood. Photo: Lizzie Chen

Liz Lock and Eric C. Hughes of the Adams House B&B announced the costume category winners. This year’s recipients were as follows:

  • Scariest: Glenis Luce as a murderer attending her own funeral
  • Funniest: Henry Ross as Nacho Libre
  • Most Creative: Lily Pierce as Frieda Kahlo
  • Best Pet: Lisa Moomaw’s Daisy the Dog as a “cat princess”
  • Best Family Costume: The Coopers as “The Frankenfurters.”


Who can resist the charm of this princess? Photo: Lizzie Chen

Who can resist the charm of this princess? Photo: Lizzie Chen

The firefighters showed their appreciation by posing for pictures and giving safety demonstrations with the help of a state-of-the-art safety trailer.

Adding another highlight to the afternoon, Friends of Shipe Park proudly awarded Austin City Council member Laura Morrison the first-ever Neighborhood Hero Award for securing funds to repair Shipe Pool, which had been faced with closure earlier this year. Thanks to her efforts and those of others, Hyde Park will have an even better neighborhood pool at Shipe to enjoy on those hot summer days for years and years to come.

Partners—neighbors and firefighters. Photo: Lizzie Chen

Partners—neighbors and firefighters. Photo: Lizzie Chen

In the same vein, the HPNA recognized the following individuals for their contributions to the Hyde Park neighborhood:

  • Kathy Lawrence: for producing programs that educate Hyde Park about Austin issues
  • David Conner: for Development Review Committee leadership that preserves and protects Hyde Park
  • Mark Fishman: for protecting and preserving Hyde Park’s public and green spaces
  • Adam Wilson: for helping HPNA meetings with space, recording equipment, and more
  • Michael Crider: for improving and freshening the HPNA website.

Once again this year, neighbors generously donated books before and during the Fire Station Festival in a drive organized by Anne-Marie Grieger. In all, 200 books were collected for BookSpring, a local organization that provides reading experiences and books to children and their families.

The outstanding success of this year’s festival was of course only made possible by the scores of volunteers. As HPNA Social Chair and main festival organizer Deaton Bednar noted, “One of the joys of creating the Fire Station Festival experience is participating in this effort with my Hyde Park neighbors. Their enthusiasm, creativity, innovations, and dedication make this the ‘best festival ever’ each year.” Indeed, the influence of our Fire Station Festival has even reached Israel, as a participant’s brother living there was also inspired to hold a fire station festival!

HPNA funds the Fire Station Festival every year. Photo: Lizzie Chen

HPNA funds the Fire Station Festival every year. Photo: Lizzie Chen

The following dedicated, talented leaders have served three or more years in creating this festival: Linda van Bavel, Judy Gurgiolo, Lynne Hohfeld, Liz Lock, Paula Rhodes, and Joan Yamini. Our thanks goes to these and many others for their excellent efforts on behalf of the neighborhood. And of course, a huge debt of gratitude is owed to Deaton Bednar herself, who has just completed a decade (yes, a decade) of chairing this event.

–Mary Lyman

Staff Writer Intern

Hyde Park Homes on Display

With perfect weather on Sunday, November 9, bicycle, bus, and skateboard riders were out in abundance to celebrate “A Ride in Hyde Park,” the theme of the 38th Annual Historic Hyde Homes Tour.

The tour, which featured properties located north of 45th Street, has been described as one of the best tours on record. Some houses were large while others were cottages. A few were traditional while one was very open and contemporary. Several had outstanding outdoor living spaces and native gardens. Several were preserved from demolition and one was saved twice. All had special stories behind them and represented the unique personalities of the owners.


Guests view a before and after display at the George-Campbell-Hinman House during the 2014 Homes Tour. Photo by Cathy Yang

Guests view a before and after display at the
George-Campbell-Hinman House during the 2014 Homes Tour. Photo by Cathy Yang

Kudos go to the many individuals who collectively made this tour enjoyable, educational and successful. Those include:

  • Homeowners: Chad & Kori Crow, Barbara Mahler & Pete van Metre, Denise Mansfield & Donald Kokas, Andy Hinman & Rebecca Campbell, Toti & Kelly Larson, and Vernon & Pam Whittington
  • House Selection Committee: Joe Bedell, I. Jay Aarons, Peter Maxson, Ellie Hanlon, and Debbie Wallenstein
  • House Captains: Debbie Wallenstein & Travis Turner, Cynthia & David Lyon, Ellie Hanlon, Kevin Heyburn, and I. Jay Aarons
  • Tour booklet: Lorre Weidlich, Pam Whittington, Amie & Tim Vetscher, Joan Burnham, David Conner, Katie Vignery, Peter Maxson, Lloyd Cates, and Ann Graham
  • Photography: Liz Williams, Chad Crow, and Andy Hinman
  • Marketing: Michael Crider, Cathy Yang, Kate Van Winkle, Cecil Pennington, and David Conner
  • Sponsorships: Suzanne Pringle, Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty, Lin Team, The Kinney Company Real Estate, and Carolyn Grimes, Coldwell Banker United Realtors
  • Ticket Sales: Denise Girard, Lisa Harris, and Gail Reese
  • Neighborhood Partners: NeWorlDeli, Austin State Hospital, Texas Blooms, Office Max at the Triangle, Best Banner Sign Graphics, Trinity Methodist Church, Texas Bike Tours, Bikes on Bikes, and Griffin School
  • Volunteers: John Williams and all of the many, many docents who helped to make the tour wonderful.

Planning for the 2015 tour has already begun. We want to make the tour continue our traditions and improve with your help. Your recommendations and suggestions are very welcome, and we will be reaching out to you soon.

–Carolyn Grimes

Chair, 2014 Hyde Park Homes Tour


Vote No on Restaurant Proposal – Letters Dept.

In regard to Case C14-2014-0111 (4500 Speedway), the owner of this property has asked HPNA to support his application to rezone this property to neighborhood office and to amend the North Hyde Park Neighborhood Conservation Combining District (NCCD) to allow food preparation, food sales, general retail sales, general retail sales (convenience), personal improvement services and personal services on neighborhood office-zoned land within the Residential District of the North Hyde Park NCCD. His application to amend the NCCD further asks that a restaurant use be a conditional use on neighborhood office-zoned tracts and that restaurants may operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and shall not be required to be provide parking.

City staff has made sound recommendations on this: to grant neighborhood office zoning (which would allow continued residential use) and to deny the request to amend the NCCD. In addition, transportation review recommends that if this is to be rezoned to neighborhood office, 30 feet of right-of-way from the centerline of Speedway be dedicated to the city.

Staff finds that neighborhood office zoning on the property is consistent with land use patterns in the area, as the tract is adjacent to multifamily-zoned property. Staff does not recommend the requested amendment to the North Hyde Park NCCD: “The proposed NCCD amendment is incongruous with the intent and uses set out for this district in the North Hyde Park NCCD. In addition, the NCCD amendment does not meet the goals and objectives of the Speedway District in the Hyde Park Neighborhood Plan.” “The staff also has concerns that the applicant is requesting to amend the NCCD to state that Restaurant uses within the Residential District shall not be required to provide parking for patrons on-site. Therefore the anticipated traffic from the proposed restaurant use at this location will be obligated to park within the right-of-way along Speedway and adjacent streets.” (These quotes are from the Zoning Change Review Sheet).

4500 Speedway is not adjacent to or particularly close to any existing commercial use. A restaurant use at this location would be very intrusive and, in my opinion, if allowed is likely to lead to requests to rezone other residential lots on 45th Street to intense commercial uses. As was pointed out in the discussion at the November HPNA meeting, the only driveway for 4500 Speedway is on 45th Street and having large delivery trucks back into or out of a 45th Street driveway will be disruptive to 45th Street traffic. In parts of our neighborhood (including the 4500 block of Speedway) there is already a high volume of street parking in use, so adding businesses that are open for most hours of the day and will draw vehicles without also requiring that those businesses provide parking will hasten the day that some or all of our neighborhood will need to apply for resident permit parking. Resident permit parking, while it does have advantages, also has disadvantages, such as the requirement that residents who wish to host an event (birthday party, holiday party, etc.) apply to the city for day passes for guests at least two weeks before the event and justify the number of passes requested.

I ask that HPNA members vote to oppose the requested amendment of the NCCD.

–Lisa Harris

Avenue F

HPNA Meeting Minutes – November 3, 2014

The Hyde Park Neighborhood Association meeting was called to order by Lorre Weidlich, co-president, at 7:09 p.m. The first item on the agenda was a presentation regarding a proposed restaurant at 4500 Speedway. The owner and his representatives provided a description of the proposed modifications to the property and the requested zoning changes. The owner noted that the goal was to convert the property into a restaurant that supported the local neighborhood character and enhanced the community. The proposed tenant would be the Chaat Shop, which is currently operating as a food truck. The potential tenant would likely utilize the space as a commercial kitchen for major events, as well as serve food for taking out or dining in.

The changes being requested for the property would be to change the zoning to NO-NCCD-NP (Neighborhood Office). This use would be amended to allow several food preparation uses. Furthermore, the use would carry several other restrictions including:

  • Maximum indoor floor area of 2,500 square feet
  • Hours of operation limited to 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Maximum outdoor seating area of 500 square feet
  • No seating within 50 feet of the property line of any single family property
  • No amplified sound or outdoor entertainment
  • No drive through
  • Maximum impervious cover area of 2,200 square feet
  • No parking restrictions
  • Alcoholic beverages limited to beer and wine.


The proposed changes would affect all properties with an NO zoning in the North Hyde Park NCCD. The current proposed site at 4500 Speedway would include 9 parking spaces. At this point, the discussion was opened to comments, questions and motions from the floor.

A motion was made and seconded for a vote at the next HPNA meeting to oppose the zoning change. The language of the motion was as follows: “The Hyde Park Neighborhood Association does not support the zoning change and the changes to the neighborhood plan.” A second motion was proposed and seconded: The Hyde Park Neighborhood Association supports the restaurant with minimal zoning changes.” Both of these resolutions will be voted on at the next Hyde Park Neighborhood Association meeting. It was agreed that the owner of the property and his representatives would be provided an opportunity to present at the next meeting and another meeting could be held in the interim to continue to garner feedback.

The second item on the agenda was consideration of a Steering Committee resolution requesting that the City not establish a blanket policy on accessory dwelling units (ADUs). The text of the resolution was published in the Pecan Press and requests that any policy respect the wishes of the established neighborhood plan. An amendment was proposed to strike the names of Martinez-Riley from the resolution and replace with the resolution number. The amended language read as follows: “Therefore the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association does not support a city-wide or blanket policy change pertaining to the construction of ADUs, such as resolution #20140612-062 passed by the City Council on June 12, 2014.”  The motion was seconded and passed 35 for and none opposed. The question was called and the motion to move the previous question was adopted 38 for and none against. The resolution was adopted 40 for and 6 against.   [Note: Because of a mistake in procedure (that is, the resolution was not posted at FreshPlus), it will be voted on again at the December meeting.]

The next item of business was the consideration of a motion from the Steering Committee to send a letter of appreciation to the City of Austin for approving funding for the repair and restoration of Shipe pool. The text of the proposed letter was read. In the absence of discussion, the question was called and adopted by a vote of 41 for and none against. The text of the letter was then adopted by acclimation.

Announcements were the final order of business. David Conner announced that the Finance Committee would be meeting soon and so budgets should be submitted to him. Carolyn Grimes reminded attendees of the Hyde Park Homes Tour on November 9. Tickets are $20 and the tour starts at the Griffin School. There are six houses on the tour all north of 45th Street. Volunteers, especially to serve as docents, are still needed. Diego from Compost Pedallers left some brochures and flyers for those interested. Lastly, Lorre announced that the Steering Committee will meet on November 10 at the Trinity United Methodist Church.

–Submitted by Artie Gold & Reid Long

HPNA Co-Secretaries

Around and About the Avenues – December 2014

New HPNA Committee To Be Formed: The purpose of this new Austin State Hospital (ASH) Committee will be to ensure that Hyde Park residents are informed about the potential sale or repurposing of this state land and have a voice in the process. Recent General Land Office reports have recommended a sale of the property for mixed use development, but no action to date has been taken. John Williams will be the initial chairperson of the committee.

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Praise for Local Eating Establishment: In the Confidential Intelligence Briefing feature of a recent issue of the international news magazine The Week, Austin was listed as #2 for green cities, as per ranking from Meg Donahue’s piece in Vegetarian Times, with a specific mention of Mother’s Café as a place that “even omnivores rave about.” –Reported by Laurence Becker

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Holiday Show at McCallum Fine Arts Academy: This year’s installment of the annual Cabaret Revue, “A Knightly Holiday,” features songs performed by more than 160 students that reflect a variety of seasonal favorites for the entire family, including an audience sing-along. All proceeds benefit McCallum Vocal Department. Shows are scheduled December 4 through 7.

*          *          *          *          *

An Award for Terri Myers: This former Hyde Park resident and consultant for its Local Historic District project recently received the Truett Latimer Award from Preservation Texas, a private, nonprofit, member-supported organization dedicated to protecting the historic resources of Texas. This award is given to a working professional who demonstrates a significant commitment and sustained involvement to preservation. For the past six years, Terri has served on the Austin Historic Landmark Commission and produced the nominations for all three of Austin’s Local Historic Districts.—Reported by Lorre Weidlich

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“Capitalism’s Suffocating Music”: This was the title of an article discussing in part this year’s Austin City Limits Music Festival by New York Times op-ed columnist Frank Bruni, who lost patience with all the festival’s corporate come-ons. “For every stage, a different sponsor; behind every beat, a different brand,” he wrote. The ubiquity of signs for “Not That Kind of Girl” suggested to him that the festival should have been renamed Lenapalooza. He did note corporate sponsorships are everywhere these days (for example, in the names of sports stadiums), but he expected more from the “subversive soul” of Austin.

From the Desk of the Co-Presidents – December 2014

As the end of the year approaches, it’s time for a retrospective: What has this year been like and what have we done with it?

It’s been exciting but disconcerting time for the City of Austin. Austin has been going through serious changes and considering serious issues. Hyde Park has had to adjust to those changes, provide input into those issues, and move forward in the face of uncertainty and dissension.

  • 10-1: Austin held its first single-member district election just last month. HPNA responded to the situation by providing programs to educate Hyde Parkers about the candidates and, as usual, by turning out in copious numbers to vote. The election ended for us when one of the two run-off candidates withdrew. It is now our task to establish a positive relationship with the new City Council.
  • ADUs: Both Austin and Hyde Park, separately and in tandem, spent part of 2014 debating the ramifications of this issue. It remains unresolved. Hyde Park needs to see what develops on the city level and respond to it.
  • Project Connect: Again, for this issue, the HPNA provided several programs designed to educate Hyde Parkers. Despite the efforts of Austin’s outgoing mayor, including his meeting with the HPNA Steering Committee, this bond issue was defeated. Few people would disagree that transportation is a significant issue in Austin, but what solution arises next and how Hyde Park responds to it remain issues for the future.

It’s been good year for the Hyde Park neighborhood. As much as we disagree, we all work together to increase the sense of community.

  • Egg Scramble: Our second egg scramble was bigger and better attended than our first one was. We look forward to the third, and so does the Easter Bunny.
  • Fire Station Festival: It gets better – and bigger – every year. What else do we need to say?
  • Homes Tour: Our first tour devoted to Hyde Park north of 45th Street was not just successful but eye opening. From a baker acclaimed throughout the Austin of his time to a space-shuttle contributor, the residents of those houses were a noteworthy group.

The holidays are a good time to put aside Austin issues and concentrate on community in Hyde Park. In the face of sometimes disturbing city-wide changes, turning to our neighbors can be a way of affirming our social capital and reestablishing the bonds that help us move forward, always keeping in mind the larger issue: What can and should we do to promote the greater good of Hyde Park?

And accordingly, we look forward to seeing all of our neighbors at the Hyde Park Holidays Party on Sunday, December 14!


–Kevin Heyburn & Lorre Weidlich

Pecan Press – December 2014

Pecan Press December 2014

Upcoming HPNA Votes for December 1, 2014 Meeting

At the November 3, 1914 meeting of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association (HPNA), the following two resolutions were proposed by members of the HPNA with regard to the rezoning (from SF-3-NCCD-NP to NO-NCCD-NP) of the property at 4500 Speedway to facilitate its use as a restaurant:

Resolution One:

The Hyde Park Neighborhood Association does not support the zoning change and the changes to the neighborhood plan.

Resolution Two:

The Hyde Park Neighborhood Association supports the restaurant with minimal zoning changes.

These two proposed resolutions will be discussed, possibly amended, and voted on at the December 1, 2014 meeting of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association.

We did not post, as required by our bylaws, a notice about the ADU vote to the Fresh+ bulletin board. As a result, someone has protested the vote and we will have to revote at the December 1, 2014 meeting.

ADU Resolution:

City Council resolutions concerning Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) should not override the neighborhood planning process or neighborhood plans.  Therefore the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association does not support a city-wide or blanket policy change pertaining to the construction of ADUs, such as resolution #20140612-062 passed by the City Council on June 12, 2014.  We see our neighborhood plan, which grew out of a process of civic participation, as central to maintaining the character and the quality of life of our neighborhood.

In order to vote on all these resolutions, you must be a dues-paid member of the HPNA for a period of 30 days before the vote takes place.

The Hyde Park Homes Tour Heads North of 45th Street

The 38th Annual Historic Hyde Park Homes Tour will take place Sunday, November 9, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Six beautifully renovated homes are featured on this year’s tour. They include a restored City of Austin landmark property that is a rare example of a brick Arts and Crafts house, a tiny 1939 bungalow that was expanded rather than demolished by its architect owner, a 1925 board and batten style cottage that has had only two owners, two 1935 bungalows that reflect their owners’ creativity and world travels, and a 1910 Victorian that was removed from the UT area in the 1950s and has been twice saved from demolition.

601 E 49th. Photo: Liz Williams

601 E 49th Street. Photo: Liz Williams

Since the tour extends from Avenue D to Caswell and from 45th to 53rd Streets, we encourage visitors to embrace the theme “A Ride Through Hyde Park” by riding a bicycle to fully experience the beautiful neighborhood and the crisp fall weather. Those who do not have their own bikes may rent one at the tour headquarters. RSVPs for bike rentals are suggested and may be made at the tour website. A complimentary bus will also circle the tour route.

4502 Avenue G. Photo: Liz Williams

4502 Avenue G. Photo: Liz Williams

Tickets are $20 and may be purchased online and on the day of the tour at The Griffin School at 5001 Evans Avenue. In addition to being the event headquarters, the school is also featured on the tour, as it has been transformed and repurposed from its original use as a Methodist Church.

4507 Avenue D. Photo: Liz Williams

4507 Avenue D. Photo: Liz Williams

Parking for the tour will be available at the school, with additional parking after 12 p.m. at Ridgetop Baptist Church located at 708 E. 51st Street.

4615 Caswell Avenue. Photo: Liz Williams

4615 Caswell Avenue. Photo: Liz Williams

The homes tour is the largest fundraiser for the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association and hundreds of volunteers annually join together to plan and showcase our historic neighborhood. Once again the tour is generously presented by Suzanne Pringle of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty and is also supported by sponsors and ticket sales.

4915 Avenue H. Photo: Liz Williams

4915 Avenue H. Photo: Liz Williams

Additional information about the tour may be directed to Homes Tour chair, Carolyn Grimes.

5311 Duval Street. Photo: Liz Williams

5311 Duval Street. Photo: Liz Williams

–Carolyn Grimes

Lee Elementary Celebrates 75 Years

Lee Elementary, serving students from the Hyde Park, Hancock, North University and Eastwood neighborhoods, celebrated its 75th anniversary on the Lee campus on October 2. With an attendance of about 600 current, former, and future Lee students, families, and staff, the celebration was a resounding success.

During the two-hour event, alumni from the 1940s up through the 2010s roamed the school’s hallways, checking out old classrooms and viewing yearbooks and artifacts from each decade. Visitors could also view art work from current students that depicted important people and events over the past 75 years.

Attendees celebrate the school’s birthday. Photo:  Deric Garza

Attendees celebrate the school’s birthday. Photo: Deric Garza

Outside, under the Live Oaks, current Lee parents and Texas musicians, Bruce Robison and Hayes Carll, played a small concert as people of all ages gathered, reconnected, and reminisced about their time at Lee. Local food trucks sold food and visitors were treated to a Lee-themed anniversary cake by Lee parent Paloma Efron of Coco Paloma Desserts, French macarons by Lee parent Tracey Cole of Cookie Peace, and dark chocolate truffle lollipops by Lee parent Steve Lawrence of the Chocolate Makers Studio.

Current Lee principal John Hewlett, PTA president Kim Brackin, past president of the Lee PTA and Austin Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole, and former Lee principal Mary Lou Clayton, who served Lee for 22 years, spoke at the event and talked about what makes Lee a special place.

Robert E. Lee was built in 1939 among large, old Live Oak trees on Waller Creek, three blocks north of the University of Texas campus. The first students attended Lee in September of 1939. It was the first AISD School fueled by natural gas instead of coal.

Over the years several renovations and additions have been completed for the Lee campus. The fact that Lee is bounded by Waller Creek means that expansion in portable buildings has not been an option, so the school has remained small. Currently, Lee serves around 400 students.

–Shannon Cavanagh


Fall from Grace (Poem)

This is what I never hear about

in Eastern philosophy: each time

I reach a state of grace, it’s

followed by a fall. Maybe that’s

why artists are never saints:

they ride that state until there’s

nothing left and then plunge into

the existential sea, melted wings

flailing. Is this just me? Am

I the only one not doing it right?

Maybe it’s the desire to create

that topples us, that one thing

we won’t let go of, that urge

deep as bone. The Goddess smiles.

Does that signal approval or

am I just one of her private jokes?


Huffstickler (at Dolce Vita)

June 13, 2000

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