Too Late to Look for the Spear

Too Late to Look for the Spear by Jann Alexander © 2013

A pack of Wrigley’s Spearmint gum could relieve fatigue for just a nickel, but no longer, as a new Marriott hotel in downtown Austin has already encased an iconic wall mural in steel. The Congress Avenue landmark wall that featured ads … Continue reading

Take It Easy

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There’s a ghostly story they like to tell about Speakeasy, in Austin’s Warehouse District: Ghosts have haunted its historic home in the Kreisel building since July 1916, when a fire trapped a fireman and two women in its antique elevator (now … Continue reading

Facadism Rarely Satisfies Anyone

Take it from Wikipedia: “Façadism (or Façadomy[1]) is the practice of demolishing a building but leaving its facade intact for the purposes of building new structures in it or around it.”

“While there are aesthetic and historical reasons for preserving building facades, the practice of facadism is often seen as a compromise between property developers who need to develop properties for modern uses and standards and preservationists who wish to preserve buildings of historical interest. It can be regarded as a compromise between historic preservation and demolition — and thus has been lauded as well as decried.”


Is this the fate of the facade of the 1897 Historic Bosche-Hogg Building — a landmark building at 804 Congress — when it becomes another downtown hotel? Boutique though it may rise, surely there will be some sacrifice when the choice becomes luxury v. historic.

And where, we wonder, will the merging of the two properties at the northwest corner of 8th & Congress leave that old keepin’ it weird Austin haunt, the Hickory Street Grill, located adjacent to the new hotel? Can boutique hotel visitors and Leslie actually peacefully coexist?