The Elisabet Ney Museum located at 304 E. 44th Street is making equipment upgrades and building improvements, in addition to a new pedestrian bridge crossing Waller Creek. The Department is also partnering with the Friends of the Elisabet Ney Museum to develop a new interpretive plan for the museum grounds. City Council District 9

Re-Imagining the Ney: A Month-Long Series Shaping the Future of The Ney

The final report will be shared soon! Thank you to everyone who participated.

Image of Elisabet Ney Museum

Re-Imaging The Ney: Interpretive Plan

Project Description

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department in partnership with the Friends of Elisabet Ney Museum present "Re-Imagining the Ney," a month-long series of events dedicated to shaping the future of the Elisabet Ney Museum through an interpretive plan. "Re-Imagining the Ney" will focus on an inclusive and community-centered approach to updating the historic landscape around the museum.

Through this program, visitors can learn about specific aspects of Ney’s life while contributing ideas for upcoming programs and exhibitions at the Museum. Each one of the "Re-Imagining the Ney" events will focus on different biographical topics on Ney’s life, culminating with the day-long event "Re-Imagining the Ney: A Community Art Bash" on October 21.

"Re-Imagining the Ney" will happen in partnership with the Parks and Recreation Department and Friends of Elisabet Ney Museum. Upgrades to the studio and grounds are made possible through City of Austin Capital Improvement Project funds.

Community Engagement: Re-Imagining The Ney Events

All events will took place at the Elisabet Ney Museum. Schedule of Events:

  • Draw Your Own Path: Museum Day, September 17, 2023, noon to 5 p.m.
  • A Night in 19th Century Austin: September 21, 2023, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • A Night of Process: October 5, 2023, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • A Night in the Landscape: October 12, 2023, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • A Community Art Bash: October 21, 2023, 3 to 8 p.m.

This event series served as a pivotal component of ongoing engagement efforts to develop the Museum’s new interpretive plan. As the Department and Friends of The Ney strive to ensure an inclusive and community-centered approach, we will be actively interviewing and surveying visitors throughout the month. To learn more about individual events, please visit

The final report is being finalized to be shared out in March 2024.

Contact Information

For more information on the Re-Imagining The Ney process, please contact 

Jade Walker, Site Manager & Curator, Elisabet Ney Museum,, 512-619-9959.

Elisabet Ney Museum Building and Bridge Improvements


The Lawrence Group Architects, who are assigned to the door and window restoration and the pedestrian bridge replacement portion of the design, have completed the 100% set of construction drawings. Heimsath Architects, who are assigned to the mechanical and lighting system upgrades, have also completed the 100% set of construction drawings. Both sets of drawings are under review for issuance of the building permit. The site plan review and approval process with the Development Services Division is complete. The City of Austin’s Quality Management Division is currently reviewing all documents related to the solicitation for a contractor. Once completed and approved, the Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) will coordinate with Capital Contracting to solicit proposals utilizing the Competitive Sealed Proposal (CSP) alternative delivery method. The CSP process of obtaining a contractor will allow PARD to select the most qualified candidate based on experience with historic restoration instead of defaulting to the respondent with the lowest bid that meets COA minimum qualifications.

Digital flythrough of bridge rendering (YouTube)


The Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) manages the Elisabet Ney Museum and grounds, called Formosa, which make up the studio and residence of Elisabet Ney, a German immigrant and talented renowned sculptor. The Museum is a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios program. Elisabet Ney designed and was on-site during the construction of her studio and residence, located in what is now Hyde Park. Following her death in 1907, her friends preserved the studio and its contents as the Elisabet Ney Museum and established the Texas Fine Arts Association (TFAA) dedicated to her memory. In 1941, after moving to West Austin’s Laguna Gloria, the TFAA transferred the property, building and its contents to the City of Austin in return for building and grounds maintenance. PARD continues to maintain and preserve the property and operate the museum. The Elisabet Ney Museum is listed as a Texas State Archeological Landmark Site, an Austin Historic Landmark, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places based on its significance as the former American studio of Elisabet Ney. In 1972, a study was conducted to develop a restoration plan. Phase 1 of the restoration was completed in 1981. Phase 2 of the restoration was completed in 1982. Numerous additional projects were completed during the next 25 years to preserve the building and its contents. In 2007, Volz & Associates were commissioned to develop the Formosa Elisabet Ney Museum Comprehensive Restoration Master Plan. This plan serves as a guide to the improvements being made in this major restoration project.

Project Description

This phase of the restoration plan calls for a new museum archival quality Heat, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system, weatherization to solve water penetration issues and preserve the building, and construction of a new accessible pedestrian/bicycle bridge.

Anticipated Schedule

Please note that as in any construction project, schedules are projected as accurately as possible, but all dates are subject to change due to the nature of construction and the weather.


Winter 2023: 100% Design Documents (Complete)

Summer 2023: Bidding Phase (Ongoing)

Fall 2024: Start of Project Construction

Fall 2025: Project Construction Completed

Spring 2026: Museum Reopens


Community Engagement

Information on the new design and restoration elements was presented to the community at Elisabet Ney Nature Day and Ney Day in 2022.

Boards and Commissions Meetings

Historic Landmark Commission
October 8, 2018: Windows, Doors, and Bridge (presentation, PDF, 10 MB)
June 28, 2021: Mechanical and Lighting (link to approved minutes)

Design Commission
August 23, 2021 (link to recommendation)

Funding & Resources

Funding for this restoration project is provided through 2006 and 2012 GO Bond funds and Hotel Occupancy Tax Project Funds from the Heritage Tourism Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department and a grant received by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The funding for this project is made possible in part through Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) funding to support projects and initiatives that meet allowable uses as defined under Chapter 351 of the Texas Tax Code. HOT revenue is an essential tool for the promotion of tourism and supports the growth of the tourism, convention, and hotel industry. PARD is an important partner in this effort as public parks, museums, and cultural centers are among the top tourist attractions in the City.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact Christina Bies, Associate Project Manager, Parks and Recreation Department, by calling (512) 974-9490 or by email.