The CarverMuseumATX facility expansion planning process continued the previous planning efforts of the George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural, and Genealogy Center with an eye towards future development aligning with the community’s values, needs, and priorities. On June 10, 2021, the Facility Expansion Plan was unanimously approved by City Council.

View the Final Expansion Plan (PDF)

View the Facility Expansion Plan Appendices (PDF)

Carver Museum ATX Planning Process with photo of exterior façade of Carver Museum

Thank you for joining us on the journey

This project relied on community voices to create a plan that reflects hopes and desires of the community. Opportunities for community input and involvement included stakeholder meetings, virtual community open houses, small group conversations, surveys, online engagement, and more.

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 reviewed the improvements proposed previously for phases two and three and sought additional updates to develop the new plan in line with current requirements. The objective of this project was to develop a facility expansion plan update, taking into consideration the site’s current usage and changes to the surrounding area. Extensive community engagement informed the planning, design and development of the facility to reflect community sentiment.  

The facility expansion plan included 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

Schedule

Shown is a timeline that reads left to right Initiation phase, Planning phase, Conception phase, Adoption phase and Implementation phase. We are currently in the last phase, Implementation which is characterized as Final Facility Expansion Plan Submission.

Anticipated to begin in spring 2020, the COVID-19 situation altered the original schedule. In accordance with the City of Austin’s public health and safety measures, all community engagement shifted to virtual, and the schedule was 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

  • Fall to Winter 2020

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

View the Proposed Expansion Plan presentation (PDF)
View the Draft Facility Expansion Plan (PDF)

Phase 5. Implementation – Submission of Final Facility Expansion Plan

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 Project Manager, Greg Montes by email or calling 512-974-9458.