City of AustinFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Join us for a ribbon cutting ceremony on Sunday, September 17 at Brush Square to celebrate the completion of a major renovation.
Join the Parks and Recreation Department for a ribbon cutting ceremony on Sunday, September 17 at 1 p.m. at Brush Square, 409 E. 5th St., to celebrate the completion of a major renovation of historic Brush Square and the restoration of the O. Henry Museum. The ribbon cutting includes a performance by local band Big Wy's Brass Band. The Brush Square Museums will be open and celebrating Austin Museum Day with hands-on history activities at the Susanna Dickinson Museum and word games for the whole family with Texas-themed prizes at the O. Henry Museum.
The 2019 Brush Square Vision Plan resulted from years of planning efforts and envisioned Brush Square as an inclusive, vibrant space in Austin’s rapidly growing downtown. The Phase I implementation includes improvements to the sight lines and circulation through improved grading and drainage as well as new walkways, an expansive event lawn, seat walls, raised decking, interpretive signage, new lighting and site furnishings, and landscaping.
The O. Henry Museum restoration includes roof repairs, window and door restoration, as well as wood siding repair and repainting. System upgrades include HVAC and security system replacement, new electrical wiring, and installation of a fire protection system. Site improvements include landscape, irrigation and lighting, and construction of a new stone patio at the back of the house.
Brush Square was designated as one of three public squares in the 1839 original plat of Austin. Three of the historic squares, Wooldridge, Republic, and Brush Squares, thrive to this day, each reflecting a unique character. Before Brush Square was developed into a park in 1913, it was used as a public market and cotton yard. Three buildings are located on the square: The O. Henry Museum, relocated in 1934; Central Fire Station #1, constructed in 1938; and the Susanna Dickinson Museum, relocated in 2001.
Both the Brush Square and O. Henry Museum projects were funded by the Historic Preservation Fund in partnership with the Heritage Tourism Division of the Economic Development Department. The fund, made possible through Hotel Occupancy Tax, helps preserve and restore Austin’s historic treasures.