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Welcome to our website! We're on a mission to save Austin's historic Norwood House, a 1922 Arts & Crafts treasure on the shores of Lady Bird Lake in Austin, TX. This special bungalow has been under threat for years, but it has recently been stabilized. It's now READY to be restored and repurposed to serve the people in a taxpayer-friendly way. You're in the right place to find out all about the house and how you can help.

Thanks for visiting, and please be in touch!

Our Mission

The Mission of the Norwood Park Foundation is to restore the Norwood House to its historic exterior appearance, rehabilitate the surrounding historic grounds and gardens, and repurpose the property to serve the people of Austin as a premier, nonprofit and self-sustaining rental venue and community meeting space.

Our Purpose

Located on City parkland, Austin's historic Norwood House is a public park asset, with a stunning view that could command substantial rental revenue for the taxpayers if the house was operating. But with lack of vision in past decades, and municipal budgets strained, the investment required to position Norwood to earn its own keep has not been put forth.

The nonprofit Norwood Park Foundation was formed because there is no money in the budget of the city's Parks & Recreation Department - now or in the foreseeable future - to restore and maintain this remarkable but long-neglected property. Since the will to save Norwood has been strongly established, and since the needs of the deteriorated house have been urgent, we have joined with the City of Austin in a public/private partnership to:

  1. restore the house and grounds,
  2. operate the property in a revenue-generating, self-sustaining fashion, and
  3. ensure its future protection.

In this way, we will save the Norwood House and its beautiful site while modeling a citizen-initiated, volunteer-based civic project that promotes an even greater mission to preserve our town's original, special places. The end result: a natural and cultural treasure..returned to the people of Austin, at minimal cost to the taxpayer.

Contact

Norwood Park Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 5682
Austin TX 78763-5682

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2020/10/17 19:09:38

October, 2020 - NEWSFLASH! Not one but TWO huge milestones just reached for the Norwood project! First, our site development plans were passed on consent by the Planning Commission on Oct. 13th, wrapping up a 2-year process. Then, the very next day our project architects filed our 100% Construction Documents - what we’ve worked toward since NPF started back in 2011. In general terms, we are now “shovel-ready” at the site - a status that has been sought for the Norwood House for more than 30 years, wow!

We are so proud of our devoted volunteers and team, and ETERNALLY GRATEFUL TO OUR DONORS - thank you so much for staying the course with NPF as we’ve kept our focus on this vision! Now for the work ahead as we negotiate with the City to access Norwood’s public funding (already voted to us, and in City coffers earmarked for Norwood) so we can get underway at the site - stay tuned! 

2020/8/31 22:26:03

 September, 2020 - Another summer has passed for the precious Norwood House - hopefully the last one it will have to endure as an “ugly duckling.” The project has made huge strides over these many weeks even with the difficulties of the pandemic. We have secured our Certificate of Appropriateness from the Landmarks Commission, gotten to the 90% mark on our Construction Documents, and are very nearly done with both of our Site Development Permits. It’s been an enormous amount of work from our board and the whole professional team. Barring anything unexpected, we will wrap this up and be “shovel-ready” at the site by the end of the month. What happens after that depends on negotiations with the City on phasing of the restoration construction, in a way that allows access to the $3m in municipal funding that we secured with our advocacy in 2018. Stay tuned, and please DONATE if you haven’t already - we need everyone’s help to finish this amazing project that will benefit everybody in Austin. Thank you!

2020/6/23 5:33:06

June, 2020 - NEWSFLASH! On June 22nd the Historic Landmarks Commission of the City of Austin approved on consent the long-sought Certificate of Appropriateness for the Norwood project. This is a huge milestone for Norwood, a step that’s been in the works in some way, shape or form for about 30 years. The CofA is not awarded lightly; it means that our plans for Norwood are excellent and meet or exceed the very stringent requirements for doing preservation work on a City landmark. Another major accomplishment for NPF and we’re mighty proud of it - but we couldn’t do it without you. Our thanks to all who are supporting the Norwood project!  

2020/5/5 23:10:00

May, 2020 - The Covid-19 pandemic has not stopped the Norwood project or even slowed us down much! Our professional team has been hard at work - from home and facilitated by Zoom when necessary - and we are only a few weeks away from shovel-ready now. Pretty exciting. Our contractor is bidding the first phase of construction work, and we’re working on amendments to our Agreement with the City of Austin, too. We are also in the middle of a complete re-do of the website, so expect a “new look” coming up soon; it will be much easier to absorb all our content when accessing by phone or tablet. Never a dull moment with Norwood. Thank you to all who are continuing to volunteer and DONATE to the project - we need everyone’s help to get this done!

2020/2/19 23:27:38

Happy announcement! As of Valentine’s Day, we are done with the contractor selection process and are officially in Pre-construction with Hill & Wilkinson General Contractors! This is a HUGE milestone for the Norwood project, made possible by generous community support over the 2019 year. We expect to finish site development permitting by the end of March, and wrap full Construction Documents in May.

We still need to raise a chunk of change, so please keep those donations coming and help us get as much as possible into Phase 2 construction; this will ensure an easier path when we begin operations as a venue. And in the meantime, watch for changes at the site as our partners at Hill & Wilkinson get underway with pre-construction research & activities. Thanks to all of you who are supporting the Norwood project!

2019/12/21 17:28:07

Winter, 2019/20 - Newsflash: we recently finished raising the full $250k match offered by Austin Parks Foundation! Big shout out to the Moody Foundation for getting us over the top and to the Still Water Foundation, the Austin Community Foundation and our friend & neighbor Colin Corgan for additional, major support for the project. Underlying it all were YOUR gifts - thanks so much to all our community members who pitched in!

These dollars enabled us to make awesome progress over the fall. The design has been fine-tuned (it’s even better now!) and we’ve made those hard decisions about what is essential now and what can be phased in later when revenue is coming in. We’re getting real close to finish of permitting & documents and recently made the first steps toward selection of our Gen Contractor - https://www.facebook.com/NorwoodParkAustin/

Stay tuned for more updates as we move along toward construction at the site in mid-2020.

We’re wrapping up 2019 by toasting Austin Parks Foundation for making ALL our parks better. Austin would not be the great parks city it is without APF! 

2019/9/11 22:10:19

Fall, 2019 - We are nearing the end of Site Development Permitting! It has taken longer than we hoped, but we’re almost there. The Norwood project requires 2 site plans, consolidated, and is incredibly complex with impacts from a waterway (Lady Bird Lake), the state (I-35), an urban corridor (Riverside Dr.), residential (Travis Hts.), and we’re on dedicated parkland, to boot. That said, our team is meeting all challenges and with any luck, we’ll be in construction early in the new year.

As ever, we remain focused on fundraising and long-term care of the Norwood site. The heat & drought of this summer has been tough on Norwood’s grounds, but thanks to our steadfast care of the heritage oaks over all these years, the trees are doing well and still look fantastic. Money and effort well-spent, for sure.

The matching grant opportunity from Austin Parks Foundation continues; we’re proud that APF is recognizing the merits of our work and the Norwood project with this grant. PLEASE HELP US by making a gift to the Norwood Park Foundation now, when your donation will be doubled! No gift is too small; your support is needed and appreciated.

Thank you, and thanks to Austin Parks Foundation for making ALL our parks better!

2019/6/7 17:10:00

Summer, 2019 - Heading into Round 3! We continue to move forward through the Site Development Permitting process, resolving the formidable issues of the project as our site plan gets scrubbed through all the departments of the city. Shouldn’t be too much longer now! The addition of the Benz Resource Group to our professional team has been really helpful in this regard; Benz is well known for managing similar public/private projects in Austin so Norwood is in good hands. http://benzresourcegroup.com

As ever, we remain focused on long-term care of the Norwood site and fundraising.

The matching grant opportunity from Austin Parks Foundation continues; we’re proud that APF is recognizing the merits of our work and the Norwood project with this grant. PLEASE HELP US by making a gift to the Norwood Park Foundation now, when your donation will be doubled! No gift is too small; your support is needed and appreciated. Thank you, and thanks to Austin Parks Foundation for making ALL our parks better!

2019/5/6 3:50:00

Spring, 2019 - Bring on Round 2! As some of you know, site permitting consists of resolving multiple rounds of issues as the details of your plans get scrubbed through all the departments of the city. The first round was as expected - arduous; we’ve wrapped that and are awaiting our next response.

Happy to be working with Benz Resource Group as a new member of our professional team. Susan Benz and her awesome staff are helping us manage the Phase 2 construction of the Norwood project..the transformation of the precious Norwood House from ugly duckling to beautiful swan. Benz is well known for managing other such public/private projects in Austin so Norwood is in good hands. http://benzresourcegroup.com

As ever, we remain focused on long-term care of the Norwood site and our formidable responsibility of fundraising.

The matching grant opportunity from Austin Parks Foundation continues; we’re proud that APF is recognizing the merits of our work with this grant, and excited that our community is rising to the challenge. But..we’re not there yet! Please consider a gift to the Norwood Park Foundation now, when your donation will be doubled. No gift too small, and is needed and appreciated. Thank you!

2019/4/2 15:50:00

April, 2019 - So happy to welcome a new member to our professional team, the Benz Resource Group. Susan Benz and her awesome staff will be helping us to manage the Phase 2 construction of the Norwood project..the transformation of the precious Norwood House from ugly duckling to beautiful swan, and execution of all the other support structures and site improvements in conjunction with our architects and engineers. Benz is well known for managing other such public/private projects in Austin and we are thrilled to have them!

In the meantime, we’re laser-focused on the long process of permitting while we continue fundraising and care of the Norwood site.

The matching grant opportunity from Austin Parks Foundation continues; we’re proud that APF is recognizing the merits of our work with this grant, and excited that our community is rising to the challenge. But..we’re not there yet! Please consider a gift to the Norwood Park Foundation now, when your donation will be doubled. No gift too small, and we thank you!

2019/3/3 23:09:57

 March, 2019 - We continue our strong focus on Site Development Permitting work, stewarding of the Norwood site, and fundraising. Not terribly glamorous, but the “slow and steady” steps that will win this race. Please note that the matching grant opportunity from Austin Parks Foundation continues; we’re proud that APF is recognizing the merits of our work with this grant, and excited that our community is rising to the challenge. But..we need more! Please consider a gift to the Norwood Park Foundation NOW, when it will be doubled.

The Norwood House is a stellar example of an Arts & Crafts bungalow, so we’re continuing to encourage everybody to check out the UT Ransom Center major exhibition on the Arts & Crafts Movement, through mid-July. A Curator Tour is offered on Wed., March 6, 7pm. We’re going, and we’ll see you there if you can make it! https://www.hrc.utexas.edu/exhibitions ... /rise-of-everyday-design/ 

Our thanks again to Austin Parks Foundation for the matching grant opportunity - and everybody, click on that gold button and please donate!

2019/2/12 16:00:00

February, 2019 - Time is downright flying as our professional team continues to work through Site Development Permitting and we continue our focus on stewarding the Norwood site and, especially, fundraising. The matching grant opportunity from Austin Parks Foundation continues; we’re proud that APF is recognizing the merits of our work with this grant, and we hope our community will rise to the challenge. Please consider a gift to the Norwood Park Foundation NOW, when it will be doubled!

We have also welcomed a new board member: Gary Furman, FAIA. Gary is a longtime architect in Austin and brings formidable talents to the project; we are thrilled to have him!

In other news, the UT Ransom Center is hosting a major exhibition on the Arts & Crafts Movement through mid-July: https://www.hrc.utexas.edu/exhibitions ... /rise-of-everyday-design/  The 1922 Norwood House is a prime example of an Arts & Crafts bungalow; we urge all friends of the Norwood project and historic preservation in general to check out this fabulous exhibition at the Ransom Center.

Our thanks again to Austin Parks Foundation for the matching grant opportunity - and everybody, click on that gold button and please donate!

2019/1/7 22:41:15

 January, 2019 - Happy New Year! And boy are we happy about some wonderful news: the Austin Parks Foundation has extended a $250,000 matching grant for the Norwood project with NO TIME LIMIT. We’re proud that APF is recognizing the merits of our work with this grant, and we hope our community will rise to the challenge. Please consider a gift to the Norwood Park Foundation NOW, so that it can have twice the impact! If fully matched, this gift could get us all the way through permitting to “shovel-ready” at the site. Thank you so much Austin Parks Foundation - and everybody, please pitch in!

2018/12/4 2:50:00

 December, 2018 - NEWSFLASH! The Austin Parks Foundation has offered a $250,000 matching grant for the Norwood project! We are over the moon about this and hoping our community will rise to the challenge. Please consider a generous gift to the Norwood Park Foundation so that it can have DOUBLE the impact. If fully matched, this gift could get us all the way through permitting to “shovel-ready” at the site. Thank you so much Austin Parks Foundation!

If you are new to the Norwood project, please take a peek at the Images tab of our website, above. Peruse the photos & captions in the albums, and you'll get a quick - and entertaining! - overview of all we've done, and the great things to come.

2018/10/13 18:50:00

 Fall 2018 - We have just received the first round of comments back from the City regarding SDP (site development permitting). Our professional team is pouring over this and we’re formulating our response now. Permitting is a long journey for anyone developing a project with the City of Austin and Norwood is no exception. We got a jump on things by having geotechnical work done recently that underlies all the future work, but we expect permitting to take several rounds and many months.

In other news, we’ll be hosting a book-signing at Norwood on Saturday morning, Nov. 10, from 10am-1pm. The book is a history of the Travis Heights neighborhood so we hope neighbors and anyone interested in “old Austin” will join us! We’ll have complete information and all the latest architectural renderings about the Norwood Project as well. This book would make a great holiday gift - come visit with us and enjoy the gorgeous autumn view from the cliff!

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