The overall scope of the Zilker Metro Park Clubhouse Rehabilitation project will be to focus on general preservation and restoration of the building’s character defining features, keeping in mind the topmost programmatic priority will be the flexibility of the site to host many types of groups and events, from weddings and parties to corporate or non-profit group events/retreats.  And, included as a possible future-phased portion of the work, are plans to restore the historic structural elements framing the view from nearby Lookout Point.

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Zilker Clubhouse angled view of exterior

History

Designed by Charles Page, the historic rustic-style Zilker Clubhouse is among the most cherished sites in Zilker Metropolitan Park, which is a National Register Historic District. The Clubhouse was constructed in 1934 by workers from the Civil Work Administration during the New Deal era. It is a one-story structure built of limestone and features unique ornamental ironwork such as door handles, hinges, and lanterns. The building and the surrounding 30 acres of land were used initially by the Boy Scouts for activities and scout meetings. Constructed on the highest point in the park, the Clubhouse faces southeast and its terrace provides a sweeping view of Austin's skyline and Ladybird Lake.

Project Description

The Zilker Clubhouse requires extensive restoration to address a number of deteriorated conditions and systems, as well as ADA accessibility challenges. Currently, the building requires a new roof, window and door restoration, masonry cleaning and repainting, restoration of ironwork, multiple ADA modifications, replacement of exterior lighting, and parking and wayfinding improvements. The building may also require extensive systems upgrades to be determined by a feasibility analysis. The analysis will explore the possibility of the installation of an HVAC system. Nearby Lookout Point requires masonry repair and restoration of the wood pergola and will be included within the scope of the design project, although the funding for its restoration will come in a future phase.

The Zilker Clubhouse is located in the far western section of the park, known as Zilker Nature Preserve, west of Mopac. The facility and grounds will continue to be available to the public to rent for events during the project’s design phase, however, the building will close to public rentals for a period of time during construction. This information will be communicated as it becomes available.

Objectives:

  • Improve deteriorated conditions of the Clubhouse facility while preserving the historic character and the unique architectural details;
  • Address accessibility and compliance code updates and systems upgrades (including a feasibility study regarding the installation of an HVAC system);
  • Evaluate and enhance site use, wayfinding, interpretive information and parking;
  • Meet sustainability goals by implementing sustainable building practices necessary to conserve energy, water and other natural resources, promote human health and safety, and enhance a high quality, enduring structure.

This project will benefit the community by retaining the site as an affordable rental venue, while enhancing the flexibility of the site to hold many types of group events.

Anticipated Schedule

  • Spring 2020: Conduct focus-group stakeholder engagement meetings and emailed surveys to past users of the site; Develop and document the Schematic Design
  • Summer 2020: Open House for interested public to review the Schematic Design (The Open House may be modified to address health and safety concerns due to the COVID-19 health crisis)
  • Summer 2020 through Winter 2020: Develop Design & Construction Documents
  • Spring 2021 through Fall 2021: Bidding
  • Fall 2021 through Summer 2022: Construction

Please note that as with any construction project, schedules are projected as accurately as possible, but all dates are subject to change. The project team will continue to provide schedule updates as the project nears construction.

Funding and Resources

This project is part of the City Council allocated 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.

Community Engagement

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Virtual Open House
Nov. 10, 2020, 7 to 8 p.m.

The Open House informed the community and interested stakeholders of the planned preservation work and functional improvements.

View survey results (survey open from June 1 to July 7, 2020)

The survey was shared with those who have reserved the space or acted as a vendor in this space.

Contact Information

For more information, please email HistoricAustinParks@austintexas.gov.