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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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2018/6/12 18:30:00

Summer 2018 - We did it! We are thrilled to report that the Norwood Project has launched into Site Development Permitting! This is a huge milestone for us and represents years of careful work and laser focus on the very best design possible for the precious Norwood House and the magnificent Norwood tract. We would like to thank our AWESOME professional team: Mell Lawrence Architects, Campbell Landscape Architecture, Urban Design Group, and Leap!Structures, whose formidable talents have helped get us to this point.

SDP is a challenging journey that can last for many months, so we’ll be hard at work on that, plus seeing various boards and commissions for their approvals. But more than anything for the NPF board now, fundraising is the task at hand. Thanks to all who visited with us at the recent Open House for the near neighborhood, and a double shout-out to our terrific volunteers for their help and unwavering commitment to Norwood. Together, we are getting there! 

2018/5/9 0:27:49

May, 2018 - Happy to report that our professional team is very close to completing the SDP (site development permitting) set. We are psyched!, as this milestone will push us forward on many levels. Crossing fingers we can submit by end of month. The final plans include a new & very inspired version of the cliffside landscape scheme that is really awesome, and we are eager to share it! PLEASE JOIN US at the Norwood site on Sat./June 2nd from 10-12noon for a casual Open House where you can see all the updated renderings and tour the sweet Norwood bungalow in its humble “before” state. You’ll be able to say you saw it when!  More news at: https://www.facebook.com/NorwoodParkAustin/ 

2018/4/6 16:51:15

April, 2018 - Our state historical marker for the “Ollie O. Norwood Estate” is finally installed at Norwood Park - what a beautiful sight! It’s on the hill close to the Norwood House, lending its gravitas and dignity to the site while we plug away, moving the project forward to the finish of DD and toward the permitting journey. The marker may move yet again when we do the final landscaping of the finished project, but that’s a ways off. For now, it’s happy where it is and so are we! Take a look at this gorgeous sign, so long in the making: https://www.facebook.com/NorwoodParkAustin/ 

2018/3/11 5:32:08

 March, 2018 - We are busy bees working with our professional team on the finish of DD and all aspects of our overall Norwood project site plan as we now set our sights on permitting! SDP (site development permitting) is a long process that takes many months, so the sooner we begin, the sooner we can turn shovels at the site. We’re hoping to get our application submitted to the City next month or by May.

We had a great “It’s My Park Day” at Norwood on March 3rd. We cleaned up the wild ravine that’s just west of the driveway and spiffed up the whole site. Thanks to Austin Parks Foundation for organizing these great citywide events, and thanks to our great volunteers at Norwood who made it happen! Special shout out to Nic and Diane Atwood for their leadership. Check out some pics at: https://www.facebook.com/NorwoodParkAustin/

2018/1/23 19:19:47

 January, 2018 - It’s a new year and we’ve got a new fence! Prettiest 8-ft. tall, strong-as-heck construction fence in town. Our great thanks to Austex Fence & Deck for partnering generously with us to better protect the precious Norwood House and improve the general site appearance at the same time. The crew did a great job and we’re all breathing easier. If you have not visited the Norwood site lately we encourage you to do so - the view from the cliff in the winter may just be the most spectacular of the year.

In other news, we’re wrapping up DD (design development) soon and about to have a team meeting where we’ll see everything in 3D - exciting!

2017/12/11 20:50:00

December, 2017 - We’re excited to announce a new addition to our board! Chris Riley is a former City Councilman who was one of our original champions when we were negotiating the partnership agreement with the City. He remains committed to completion of the Norwood Project, knowing better than many what a game-changer it will be in this spot. Welcome Chris!

Awesome milestone: we’re done with landscape schematic design! Survey flags are waving at Norwood as we update marks and add new ones; it’s exciting to envision exactly where the terrace will end and where the auxiliary buildings and plazas will be. The professional team is now working to finish design development, hopefully by end of January.

Happy Holidays to all, heartfelt thanks to our wonderful volunteers, and three cheers for 2018 and what we believe will be a banner year for Norwood! Go team.

2017/10/20 15:46:54

October/November, 2017 - Exciting steps for us as an org; we have just wrapped up the intense work of a professional Strategic Plan, which included a daylong board retreat. Inspiring for all of us to reaffirm the commitment and passion that will see this project through to opening day at the Norwood House! We await the final report and documents which will help us in many ways as we move forward. In the meantime, our professional team is continuing on the landscape schematics and getting underway with final design development; the board continues on fundraising plans & activities; our volunteers continue on stewardship of the house and grounds at Norwood. No end to the work of returning the treasure that is the Norwood House and its beautiful grounds to the people of Austin. It will be worth it! 

2017/8/31 22:40:16

 

September, 2017 - Oops we missed a month - that’s how busy we’ve been in August and, in fact, all summer. We have happy news - two new Board Directors! Teri O’Glee and Bitsy Henderson have moved from a professional status with the project to seats on our board. That’s dedication, folks, and we are thrilled to have them.

We have also launched a professional Strategic Plan for the org, which is quite a process. This will help us in myriad ways, and is needed for the very large donations and high-level grants that we are aiming for over the next year. We have a number of exciting situations pending that we hope will lead to substantial funding before the end of the year.

Also, our design team has been hard at work over the summer, finishing up the landscape schematic work. This will put us in position to submit the first of several long-planned applications for grant funding via the City’s NPP - Neighborhood Partnering Program. At the same time, our project architects are working on the final Design Development, which will lead to construction drawings by the end of the year or early spring.

A special thank you to Cynthia Petrick and Joe Petrick for your awesome volunteer work keeping the Norwood “lawn” mowed & trimmed over the summer - you’re the best!

2017/7/8 15:30:00

 

July, 2017 - Happy to report that the Norwood Project has just received 2 grants from Austin Community Foundation; from the Georgia B. Lucas Fund and the Mary Carol Boone-Joy Fund. Thank you, trustees! These monies are directly supporting the final design work happening now. Our architects & engineers met at the site in late June (check out pics here: https://www.facebook.com/NorwoodParkAustin/) and are officially underway with this final design phase. We’re very excited about the path this puts us on, to construction drawings and “shovel ready.”

Meantime, it’s another long hot summer for the Norwood House. We hope it’s the last one before “Norcliff” (as it was originally named) is launched into its final transformation. Thank you, Norwood volunteers, for helping us keep the stabilized bungalow and the site shipshape.

2017/6/7 20:10:00

 

June, 2017 - Exciting news for the Norwood project: a $100,000 challenge grant from the Still Water Foundation has funded! AND, we have received the firm commitment of $350,000 in mitigation funds from the City of Austin PARD, stemming from work that TxDOT will do at Norwood Park as part of the ongoing Mobility35 initiative. AND, we also received a grant from the Taylor/Maxson Charitable Fund. Wow! All of this support has allowed us to re-engage with our professional team to finish the remaining design work on the project, which will be a huge accomplishment leading to further, significant funding.

Thank you Still Water Foundation, thank you City of Austin PARD, and thank you to the Taylor/Maxson Fund. It takes a village to save our special places, and together, we are doing it!

2017/5/8 15:30:00

May, 2017 - What a great event we had for the Historical Marker Unveiling on April 28th! Our thanks to everyone who attended and a special shout out to our fantastic volunteers. It was a very special day in the history of the estate, for Travis Heights, and for everybody who cares about saving Austin’s original, special places. Please check out the album we posted on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/NorwoodParkAustin/

We are also thrilled to announce two grants we’ve been awarded: a 25k grant from Austin Parks Foundation, and a 5k grant from Preservation Austin, which will be combined to fund the remaining landscape schematic design work. Those plans move us substantially forward toward “shovel ready” - our big goal for the coming months. Thank you Preservation Austin and thank you Austin Parks Foundation! Together we are “saving the good stuff” AND the green spaces at Norwood Park.

2017/4/4 0:40:00

 April, 2017 - OK, second time’s the charm! We got rained out on the first attempt, but our new SAVE THE DATE is Friday, April 28, at 10am for the dedication of the Norwood Estate Historical Marker. The ceremony will take place in the historic gardens next to the house, overlooking the marvelous view of Lady Bird Lake and downtown Austin. This recognition for Norwood Park is decades in the making - come and celebrate with us, and learn more about the project to restore and repurpose this amazing place. Keeping Austin original! Light refreshments, dress comfortably for this outdoor event. For more information: https://www.facebook.com/NorwoodParkAustin/

2017/3/8 3:10:00

March, 2017 - ALERT! We have had to postpone our Historical Marker Dedication event due to the severe weather forecast of a strong front moving across the country. Many days of tracking indicates it will arrive right around the time of our ceremony. Because Norwood is so exposed on the bluff, we take that seriously, and safety must come first. We are working with PARD right now on a new date. Stay tuned, and thanks for your understanding! For more information/to see the original evite: https://www.facebook.com/NorwoodParkAustin/


 

2017/2/12 18:45:45

February, 2017 - Great news - we have received another grant! The Norwood project has been awarded a Planning grant from Preservation Austin, our city’s premier historic preservation advocacy org. This grant provides matching funds for engineering & schematic plans we need to move Norwood forward with the City of Austin’s Neighborhood Partnering Program. NPP, in turn, will provide a substantial part of Norwood’s future hardscape needs like street realignment, sidewalks, curbs & gutters, circle drive, etc. Got that? Yes, it’s complicated, but programs like NPP (and there are others) will provide the means for Norwood to access the municipal funding that is appropriate for our public/private partnership with the City. Win win all around!

We are proud that Preservation Austin has partnered with us in this very meaningful way, toward restoring and repurposing one of our city’s most amazing historic properties. Thank you Preservation Austin!

 

2017/1/2 16:01:13

 January, 2017 - Thank you Austin Parks Foundation! The Norwood project was awarded an Austin City Limits Neighborhood Grant to fund another round of tree work and site stewardship, and we wrapped that just before the year ended. The century oaks and other heritage trees are in fantastic shape for the coming year, check out some snaps: https://www.facebook.com/NorwoodParkAustin/  This is enormously important to the project and we truly appreciate the support and partnership of APF. Folks, when you attend ACL you are also helping to support Austin’s parks in a big way. Thank you APF for helping us and so many other park projects in our great city!

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