east austin

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

People grumble about how fast Austin is growing. But growth can also bring chances for creative collaboration. That’s what happened at Dozen Street bar near the corner of 12th and Chicon streets, when a musician from Philadelphia started hosting a regular Wednesday night session for fellow players.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Of the hundreds of artists and artisans opening their doors to the East Austin Studio Tour weekend, there’s one that’s been around for a while – one whose creations you might’ve seen before – Sertodo Copper.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

Ambres Kearney’s muscle memory flares up every time he drives back to his East Austin alma mater, Anderson High School. As he pulls into the U-shaped parking lot, he instinctively tries to park his car in the same spot where he parked his 1963 burnt orange Chevrolet 45 years ago as a high school senior. “My wife said ‘Where are you going?’ But it was so natural to drive up,” Kearney says. Instead, he parks in the street and sits on the stoop at the front entrance. Parts of the concrete steps underneath him are crumbling.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

In the late morning hours on the Southeast corner of 12 th and Chicon streets, a visitor sees a bus stop with a bench on the Chicon side. Behind that bus stop, an empty lot; way behind that, a small convenience store with a drive-thru window. And then, on the 12th Street side, Marshall’s Barbershop.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Aside from some passing traffic, the northeast corner of 12 th and Chicon streets remains fairly quiet in the early morning hours.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

To the uninformed, Shonda Mace looked like she was being a real creep. On a morning last March, the young woman loitered in front of a home on East 22nd Street. She eyed the house in front of her before snapping two photos of it.

Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez / KUT

It's no secret that the African American population of East Austin has been dwindling as the white population has increased for the past couple of decades. But some see a bright spot in that transformation, and it's apparent on Sunday mornings at the Holy Cross Catholic Church.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Austin’s trolley cars , which retired in 1940, stopped at East 12 th and Chicon streets. It’s there that Ada Harden and her brother would hop on, pay the five-cent fee, and ride with little concern about a destination.

East Austin Theater at the Center of Code Dispute

Aug 30, 2016
Megan K. Miller via Twitter

Austin’s Code Department is responsible for making sure land is used for its intended purpose. So what happens when those rules are broken? One East Austin theater is finding itself at the center of a code dispute.

Favor

The Austin-based delivery company Favor has doubled its service zone , and it now covers an area stretching from Cedar Park to Slaughter Lane. The app-based service delivers everything from tacos to dry cleaning for a flat $5 fee, plus driver tip, and boasts an average 35-minute arrival time. Favor has grown to serve more affluent and suburban areas, but the tech firm still provides relatively limited service in the less wealthy, minority neighborhoods of East Austin, Southeast Austin and Northeast Austin. Much of its delivery zone east of I-35 serves the most rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

Rapid development is just about everywhere in Austin. Some of that development has brought up environmental questions, or concerns over the increased traffic they could bring. But one developer has a fight on their hands that's not about what’s happening above ground, but below.

Miguel Guitierrez Jr./KUT

City officials are in the process of surveying East Austin to determine which buildings qualify for historic preservation, but some residents want to put a stop to any demolition until that survey is complete.

Jorge Sanhueza Lyon/KUT

Jimmy Reed, 78, stands in front of his childhood home on East Austin’s Garden Street. It has been stripped to the 1920s wooden frame, and the barely 800-square-foot home looks more condemned than livable.

Jorge Sanhueza Lyon/KUT

Recently, residents of the city’s East Cesar Chavez neighborhood asked a city of Austin committee to put in place interim controls potentially limiting the influx of new bars, restaurants and breweries. The decision was delayed – and then eventually denied. Had the action gone through, it would have been a rare decision. As things stand now, neighbors are at a loss for what power they have to temper the rapid development of East Austin.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

The challenges of economic development and gentrification facing East Austin are nothing new. But they will get some new attention from a group of city council members convened by Mayor Steve Adler. The group will be focusing on a part of the city some council members are calling the “eastern crescent.” The exotic, almost alluring term “eastern crescent” was introduced recently into the city council lexicon. Council member Leslie Pool threw it out in a June audit and finance meeting. She was talking to city staff about a public improvement district in East Austin.

Audrey McGlinchy/Austin Monitor

From the Austin Monitor : Residents opposed to a proposed 65-room boutique hotel at 1207 East Cesar Chavez St. told the Planning Commission on Tuesday night that they do not want to see their neighborhood become “another Rainey Street.” At the meeting, several residents held signs that read, “Don’t Rain-ey on our Chavez … No East Side Hotel.” Commissioners agreed that the hotel should not go up in East Austin, and a motion to approve a conditional use permit failed (Commissioner Richard Hatfield created the motion, but none of the other four commissioners present seconded it).

City Seeks to Improve Demolition Permit System

May 1, 2015
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

A City Council committee is directing staff to look at adding requirements to the demolition permit system that would ensure tenants are notified of planned tear-downs. During a review of the city’s demolition permits, the Planning and Neighborhoods Committee heard from Sergio Lejarazu, the former owner of Jumpolin, the East Austin piñata store that was torn down in February with the merchandise still inside.

Typically, children and power tools don't mix. But, for Kami Wilt, founder of the Austin Tinkering School , it’s been her mission over the last few years to help kids get messy – putting power tools and paintbrushes in students’ hands, while supervising and providing instruction when it’s needed. Wilt hosts tinkering classes out of her backyard workshop, but, after a Kickstarter campaign that netted the school over $20,000 in contributions last month, she hopes to find a dedicated space in 2015 to continue to bring DIY-minded education to kids in Austin.

Courtesy of the City of Austin

A plan to turn 735 acres of East Austin parkland into a high-end golf course will get a public airing this evening. The City of Austin is hosting a meeting on the proposal for Walter E. Long park from 4:30 to 7:30 at the Morris Williams Golf Course at 3851 Manor Road . The city says the plan will bring jobs and tourist money to the east side. Under the proposal, developers would pay to build and maintain the course and give the city a cut of the revenue. That appeals to the Parks Department which doesn’t currently do upkeep on the land. But there’s opposition. Some residents don’t think Austin should give up so much space to a costly sport that a lot of people don’t play. The parkland is in Austin's City Council District 1. Ora Houston, the front-runner for the District 1 seat opposes the plan and has asked the City to postpone a vote until after the new council is seated.

Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

Many Latinos in Texas can trace their history back to the 1690s. They're descendants of Spanish, Mexican and indigenous people who were here when the land was subject to the Spanish crown, then later a part of the sovereign state of Mexico, the Republic of Texas and, finally, the United States. They don’t consider themselves either Mexican or Anglo-Texan. They’re Tejanos, and they always have been. Now, a six-mile path through Austin aims to preserve some of that history.

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