The CarverMuseumATX facility expansion planning process will continue the previous planning efforts of the George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural, and Genealogy Center and will guide future development in alignment with the community’s values, needs, and priorities.  

Virtual Community Meeting #2, October 3, 2020, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (register here)

CarveMuseumATX Facility Expansion Plan image

Join us on the journey

This project relies on hearing the community voices to create a plan that reflects hopes and desires of the community. Opportunities for community input and involvement will be shared throughout the process, including stakeholder meetings, community open houses, small group conversations, surveys, online engagement, and more. Multiple opportunities are available on the SpeakUpAustin page.

Opportunities to Share Your Voice

View of the front of the George Washington Carver Museum

History

The roots of the George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center were established in Austin, Texas during the early 20th Century. Austin’s first public library was moved in 1933 to an area of Austin east of IH-35, populated by economically disadvantaged and minority citizens. This building would become the City’s first "colored" library serving as a central gathering place for the African American community. A larger library was constructed to better serve the densely populated area in 1980. The public advocated and supported the measure to reopen the historic library building as the George Washington Carver Museum in 1980.

The Carver Museum began receiving family collections in 1979. The year 1998, brought huge change with the passing of a bond to build a "state of the art" complex that includes galleries for exhibitions, a collections facility, classroom space and a theater adjacent to the historic Carver library. This new complex opened its doors in 2005 and has since seen the successful completion of several core exhibits, as well as hosted many performances, workshops, and family programs. Today, the Museum’s Collection has over 8,000 items of artistic and historical significance.

More information on the history of Carver Museum can be viewed here

Project Background

The context to this project dates back to 1998, when bond funding was approved for the Carver Museum and Library expansion. In 2000, a Feasibility Study for the Expansion of the George Washington Carver Museum & Cultural Center was conducted, and a three-phase building program was developed. Of the three proposed phases, phase one has been implemented while phases two and three have not been addressed. Phase one was completed in 2005 and included the development of a lobby with reception, lecture hall/theater, classrooms, dance studio, dark room, conference room, commercial kitchen, storage, outdoor plazas and expanded parking.

Project Description and Objectives

The City wishes to revisit and review the improvements that were proposed previously for phases two and three and develop a new plan that is in line with current requirements. The objective of this project is to develop a facility expansion plan update that takes into consideration the site’s current usage and changes to the surrounding area. Extensive public engagement will help inform the planning, design and development of a facility that reflects community sentiment.  

The facility expansion plan may include the following:

  • Analysis of existing site conditions
  • Analysis of existing building conditions
  • Assessment of programming needs and/or support facilities
  • Analysis of existing transportation system and parking outcomes
  • Other pertinent considerations based on community feedback
  • Design concepts, recommendations, and strategies based on solicited feedback

Anticipated Schedule

Planning phases: Initiation, Planning (we are here), Conception, Plan Adoption, Implementation

Anticipated to begin in spring 2020, the COVID-19 situation has altered the original schedule. The project will follow in accordance with the City of Austin’s continuous measures for public health and safety and the schedule will be updated accordingly.

Phase 1. Initiation – Needs Assessment and Small Group Discussions

Phase 2. Planning – Preliminary Concepts, Community Meetings

Phase 3. Conception – Draft Facility Expansion Plan

  • Anticipated Fall to Winter 2020

Phase 4. Plan Adoption - Presenting draft plan to Boards, Commissions, City Council

  • Anticipated Spring 2021

Phase 5. Implementation – Submission of Final Facility Expansion Plan

  • Anticipated Summer 2021

Funding and Resources

In 2018, City of Austin voters passed Proposition B, a bond including Cultural Center Improvements which allowed for capital reinvestment in the Carver Museum. Council funded a line-item for a new Carver Plan in the FY2019 Operating Budget.

Contact

For more information, please contact Planning Program Manager, Greg Montes by email or calling 512-974-9458.