W.A.N.G. NEWS August 2022
PO Box 5722, Austin, TX 78763-5722
NEXT WANG MEETING
LIONS MUNICIPAL GOLF COURSE MEETING ROOM
MONDAY, AUGUST 8TH . . . . . . 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
ALL NEIGHBORS ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND
by Holly Reed
NEIGHBORHOOD CALL TO ACTION: STOP THE DEMOLITION!
HELP PRESERVE 2002 SCENIC DRIVE!
In our last WANG newsletter, I wrote to you about the tragic loss of historic fabric we are experiencing in our Neighborhood and our City, due to the demolition of so many older homes and buildings. Austin is losing its historical identity!!
The Historic Landmark Commission reviews each demolition application, and makes a recommendation to the Planning Commission and City Council, as to whether a building is worthy of historic zoning. They follow strict criteria in recommending historic zoning, and only vote to recommend if the property is truly worthy of preservation. But their recommendation must be supported by the public and the City Council for a building to be preserved, if the owner is opposed to historic zoning. Such is the case for 2002 Scenic Drive, the remarkable old stone house in our neighborhood, known as the “Rock House.”
On June 1st, 2022, the Historic Landmark Commission voted unanimously to initiate historic zoning for 2002 Scenic Drive. Why? The HLC determined that 2002 Scenic Drive qualifies for Historic Zoning because of its truly unique architecture, landscape features and historical associations (see detailed descriptions from the HLC review below.)
Despite this rare unanimous recommendation for historic zoning, the Rock House property is still very much in danger of being totally demolished. The owner of the property objects to historic zoning, and the only way this home can be preserved is through strong support from the public, the Planning Commission and the City Council.
The West Austin Neighborhood Group strongly supports the HLC’s recommendation for historic zoning for 2002 Scenic Drive. Please help us, and write to the members of our Planning Commission and City Council, asking them to support historic zoning for 2002 Scenic Drive, before it’s too late!
Please email Members of the Planning Commission before their August 23th Meeting! You can send one email and include all addresses below:
Please email the Mayor and Austin City Council and let them know you support historic zoning for 2002 Scenic Drive, before the Council considers this case.
The primary building is a good example of Spanish eclectic architecture with Modern-style Fehr and Granger influences. The accessory structure is a unique example of eclectic, mid-century, and Gothic Revival architecture; it features unique
Mansbendel keystones throughout. It appears to convey architectural significance as a one-of-a-kind structure in Austin. The primary building at 2002 Scenic Drive, known historically as River Street or River Avenue, is a two-story Spanish eclectic residence with Modern and eclectic additions constructed during the historic period. It is clad in stucco and masonry and capped with a compound-hipped roof with deep eaves. Fenestration includes multi-light wood casement windows irregularly placed throughout. A cylindrical turret with a crenellated parapet and arched windows flanks an open masonry porch that leads to an expansive designed landscape. The secondary building is an eclectic Gothic Revival cottage. It is two stories in height with an arched palisade, cedar-shake
roof, and masonry cladding. A two-story turret with faux chequerwork trim dominates the principal elevation. Each round arch includes a limestone keystone carved by famed local stoneworker Peter Mansbendel.
A renovation was designed circa 1946-47 for C.H. and Mildred Slator by prominent Austin architects Fehr & Granger. Officially established in 1946, Fehr & Granger was one of the first and possibly most influential mid-century modern
architectural firms in Austin. The firm flourished, with an extensive body of work consisting of both residential and commercial projects. They received multiple awards for their work in the magazine Progressive Architecture
The property appears to have significant historical associations with builder, entrepreneur, and optician Raymond Delisle; as well as C.H. Slator, the co-owner of the Tavern and a prominent Austin attorney. The house at 2002 Scenic Drive, called River Street or River Avenue before 1940, was constructed around 1928 by Raymond Maurice Delisle. Delisle, the son of a Houston architect, built 16 other houses in the River Street area while also working as an optician in Austin. He owned and operated the Austin Optical Company from the early 1920s until his retirement around 1940. He was one of the 1927 incorporators of the Urnite Manufacturing Company. Urnite, a synthetic stone material, appears to have been used in several landscape features around the property. Delisle’s other designs appear to reflect his unique “fairytale cottage” aesthetic, and his own home is a testament to his appreciation for Gothic Revival detailing. Later occupants include William Foster and then Mr. and Mrs. K.D. Shoudy. After the Shoudys lost a young son while living at the property in 1945, they sold the house to C.H. and Mildred Slator. It stayed in the Slator family until 2021, according to TCAD records. C.H. Slator, son of a prominent Llano rancher, was a local attorney and co-owner of the Tavern (ca. 1953).
The property appears to have a significant and unique designed landscape with aesthetic and historical value. Some landscape features, including the arched bridge and bench, appear to incorporate Delisle’s Urnite material. This material is
rare today. Additionally, the landscape designed by Delisle specifically relates to his architectural vision for the house, with meandering walks, an expansive lawn, and an early swimming pool built into the hillside topography to provide a river view.
West Austin Neighborhood Group
RE-NEW NOW AND EXTEND YOUR MEMBERSHIP THRU NOVEMBER 1, 2023
WANG Board of Directors & Committee Members
Organized 1973......"To preserve our neighborhood and protect it from deterioration"
Board of Directors
- President: Holly Reed President@westaustinng.com
- Secretary: Cathy Kyle Secretary@westaustinng.com
- Assistant Secretary: Blake Tollett AsstSecretary@westaustinng.com
- Treasurer: George Edwards Treasurer@westaustinng.com
- Past President: Cathy Kyle PastPresident@westaustinng.com
All Current Members (click on name to send email)
- Holly Reed ............................member since 2015 (President)
- Cathy Kyle ............................member since 2010 (Secretary)
- Blake Tollett .........................member since 1994 (Asst Secretary)
- George Edwards ..................member since 2004 (Treasurer)
- Mary Arnold .........................member since 2006 (Muny Tract)
- Michael Cannatti .................member since 1999 (CWANPCT)
- Joseph M Bennett ...............member since 2001 (Membership/E-Newsletter)
- Craig Lill ...............................member since 2017
- Joyce Basciano ...................member since 1999
- Bob Hamilton........................member since 2020
- Sarah Hawthorne Cain.........member since 2020 (Advertising)
- Heidi Gibbons.......................member since 2020 (ANC Liason)
Honorary Committee Members
CITY COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES
Contact your City Council Representatives:
(click on name to send email)
- Mayor: Steve Adler 512-978-2100
- District 1: Natasha Harper Madison 512-978-2101
- District 2: Vanessa Fuentes 512-978-2102
- District 3: Sabino Renteria 512-978-2103
- District 4: Jose "Chito" Vela 512-978-2104
- District 5: Ann Kitchen 512-978-2105
- District 6: Mackenzie Kelly 512-978-2106
- District 7: Leslie Pool 512-978-2107
- District 8: Paige Ellis 512-978-2108
- District 9: Kathie Tovo 512-978-2109
- District 10: Alison Alter 512-978-2110
Email All of the Council: Entire Council and Mayor
ACL Festival - Oct 7 - Oct 16, 2022
WE HAVE 3-DAY PASSES
Click on the link City Stage photo above
(Austin Center for Events)
for more info of everything happening around Austin !!!!
Texas Gas Service.............................1-800-700-2443
AT&T (new service)...........................1-800-464-7928
Time Warner Cable (Cust. Svc)...........512-485-5555
Austin/Travis Hazardous Waste.........512-974-4343