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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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2016/11/8 16:38:42

 November, 2016 - Great news: the historical marker for Norwood Park has arrived! This thing is literally decades in the making, long sought by so many who love Norwood. Watch for an announcement of a dedication/setting event soon.

We’re wrapping up all the requirements for this year’s tree maintenance plan and hope to have our awesome arborist, Jason Derks, out there soon. There are some particularly exciting aspects of the tree work this year that will improve the viewing experience at Norwood, which is already fabulous. Looking forward to that.

Watch for a cover article on the Norwood project in the Dec. issue of Life in Travis Heights magazine. We’re excited about this opportunity to share the architectural plans with the neighborhood. Our thanks to LiTH’s terrific publisher, Sara Wright.

Moving forward on some important grant applications and continuing our visits with community leaders at the site. Kudos to our Grounds Committee for keeping things looking spiffy out there: Cynthia Petrick, Nic Atwood, and Wolf Sittler, and to our friend & volunteer, Joe Petrick, who mows like nobody’s business. Thanks to all of you!

2016/10/5 22:53:18

October, 2016 - We had a terrific Nat’l Public Lands Day event on 9/24; big THANKS to Wolf Sittler, Nic Atwood, Diane Atwood, Cynthia Petrick, Jean Porter, Joe Petrick, Brian Walters, Elizabeth Bezanson, Lisa Stone, Nohely Rivera, Jose Rivera-Rios, and Max Atwood. Click here to see the photo album: https://www.facebook.com/NorwoodParkAustin/  And thank you Charlotte Bell for your great pics! http://charlottebell.com  The site looks great, which helps our fundraising efforts.

No surprises at the recent Mobility35 open house - a small sliver of land will be taken from the lower east part of Norwood Park for widening the shared-use path along I-35 over Lady Bird Lake and around the corner onto Riverside. This will significantly improve safety and connectivity for Norwood, so it’s all good. For more info: http://my35.org/capital/projects/travis/riverside.htm

Otherwise it’s quiet at the bungalow while we continue building awareness about the project, visiting with folks at the site and preparing for some important events later in the fall.

2016/9/2 5:13:46

September, 2016 - Join us at Norwood on the 24th as we take part in Austin Parks Foundation’s “National Public Lands Day.” NPLD is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands - and Norwood is certainly that! We will mow & trim overgrowth, pick up trash, do some minor chores around the house, and overall spiff up the Norwood site. Register later in the month at austinparks.org. We’d love to see some new faces! Come and find out why Norwood is so special and what we’re doing to bring it back to life for everyone to enjoy.

Major thanks to Norwood “great-niece” Cynthia Petrick and her father in law, Joe Petrick; they’ve kept the site looking great over the summer. Thank you Cynthia & Joe!

Behind the scenes, we are finishing the last documents for our fundraising materials, and continuing our visits with community leaders and potential board members and donors at the site. We met with the folks at TxDOT recently, too, about the Mobility35 work that will happen at Norwood Park. The improvements to I-35 will mean improved connectivity for Norwood, as the pedestrian bridge will be widened and new, wider shared-use pathways with railings will be installed. More safety and more eyes on the park - wonderful!

2016/7/16 22:36:25

 July/August, 2016 - Summer means somewhat of a slowdown as folks come & go with travels, but we’re moving forward on all fronts. Got a green light from the Review Committee of the Landmark Commission after a meeting 7/11; they support our overall design for the project and the house and are calling for only a few minor tweaks to our plans. We’ll go before the full board later in the year seeking the required Certificate of Appropriateness.

All is well at the site, albeit we recently had to paint over some graffiti applied to our nice new storage unit. Not what we want to see at Norwood! Huge thanks to Manuel Soza and his crew with PARD for helping us there. At least the “artist” left the house alone, and yes, we’re knocking on wood there.

Hoping the flash drought will break and water the trees for us. Those mighty oaks can go for a good while without rain, but we don’t want anything to threaten what we’ve achieved with those trees. Sure will be nice when the project is done and a sprinkler system takes care of this!

2016/6/9 20:29:00

June, 2016 - With our new Project Mgr. in place, we are hopping! There is much to do behind the scenes as we bring Teri (O’Glee) fully up to speed on all things Norwood. We’re beginning rounds of updates to the many stakeholder groups involved (and there are a lot of those!) which will help us develop our documents for Phase 2. We will present our schematic design to the Review Committee of the Landmarks Commission in July. And there is the steady stewardship of the stabilized Norwood House & site always to manage; that should get a little easier as summer settles in and the spring monsoon ebbs. No complaining, though: with the tree work we did last year, our timing couldn’t have been better for major rains. The heritage oaks are in fantastic shape going into the hot months.

Thank you to Nic & Diane Atwood, Brad Theriot, and Teri for a primo “spiffing up” in mid-May. Lookin’ good out there!

2016/5/9 3:11:16

May, 2016 - We are happy to announce a new addition to the Norwood team: Teri O’Glee will join us as Project Manager and interim Executive Director. Teri is a longtime Austin resident with a formidable background in helping local nonprofits to increase their capacity and achieve their goals. Her expertise is exactly what we need at this post-Phase 1 stage: our own growth & transformation ahead of Norwood’s. Teri is as excited as we are about the vision our team has developed for Norwood, and the incredible potential of the project for the whole city. We are thrilled to have her!

Volunteers: we could use some help on Saturday, May 14th at 8am for a light cleanup & cutback at the site. We have happy trees from all the rain lately, but the weeds have arrived as well. Bring your clippers and help us for an hour or two to Keep Norwood Spiffy!

Little reminder from last month - if you haven’t seen our very cool drone video of the spectacular Norwood site, check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4APUR0zWpos

2016/4/4 17:15:34

 April, 2016 - Lots of good happenings lately. Had a terrific “It’s My Park Day” event on March 5th, check out the pics on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NorwoodParkAustin/  The site looks beautiful and well-kept. A huge thank you to our awesome volunteers: Nic & Diane Atwood who co-led with Colleen, plus Wolf Sittler, Wallace Henderson, Ryan Koepcke, Daniel Bonneau, Amira Mahler, Cynthia Petrick, Jean Porter, Kathy Reiser, the Jeffries family: Karen, Ken & Allison, and Charlotte Bell who snapped great photos for us.

Do check out our new drone video! It’s Norwood like you’ve never seen it before (also on Facebook, or click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4APUR0zWpos ).

We have some new signs & street striping at the park that will help us a lot, thanks to our friends at PARD. And we are starting to work with consultants on the fundraising plans.

Overall, work on the project has moved to a more measured pace, which is a welcome change - indeed, it means we accomplished everything we hoped to in Phase 1 and we’re on track. Lots to look forward to as we all work together to finish the job at Norwood. Thanks, everyone, for your continued support!

2016/3/2 2:26:04

 March, 2016 - Please join us at Norwood for It’s My Park Day on March 5th. We’ll be tackling a first-time cleanup of the beautiful sunken glen on the west side of the site, removal of the old buckled front sidewalk (to help the heritage oak trees there), and a general cutback of overgrowth inside the fence. Good stewardship is one of our ongoing responsibilities ahead of Phase 2 construction. We’d welcome your help! To volunteer for this short morning event, go to: http://austinparks.org/volunteer/impd/

In other news, the interior & exterior architectural renderings of the overall project are finished and they are stunning! We look forward to sharing these beautiful images more broadly in the near future. We’re also excited about a new 3-D animation that one of our young UT architecture student friends is working on; it’s almost done and it’s really cool. And a shout out to our new friends at Freedom Solar for helping us install solar security lights on the vulnerable Norwood bungalow. Such gifts of time & effort are so helpful - thank you Zach, Jonathan and Niko!

2016/2/8 21:33:19

 February, 2016 - So pleased to share the great news that we have been approved for a historical marker for Norwood Park! This is something that friends of the Norwood House have wanted for many decades. It’s a testament to the cultural importance of the site over the last 90 years, and a recognition by the top preservation people in our city, county and state that Norwood is a special place worth fighting for.

The fabrication of the marker and the plans for setting it will take time; look for notice of that down the road a bit. But this deal is done. Hurray for us! And thank you Travis County HC and the Texas Historical Commission. Won’t this thing look fabulous when we open the house to the public!

2016/1/13 22:40:01

January, 2016 - Happy New Year to all the friends of the Norwood project! Hard to believe another year has zoomed by. Last year at this time we noted what a momentous year it was going to be in 2015 - and boy was it! If you are a new visitor, please click on last month’s entry to see in a nutshell all that we accomplished in 2015. 

We will repeat the phrase for the coming year as well, and hope that we will be just as successful. Our goals for 2016 are clear: build our board, raise the money needed to finish the project, and get underway with construction. To do this, we need you! We are working on plans at this time to launch a formal fundraising campaign in the coming months. Please contact us if you’re interested in helping out; when the time comes, we’ll need lots of folks pitching in.

In the meantime, we await news this month of whether we’ll be approved for a subject Historical Marker at Norwood. This would be a wonderful tribute to the cultural importance of the estate over the last 90 years. Stay tuned. 

2015/12/17 22:25:05

 December, 2015 - What an amazing year we’ve had. Twelve months ago the house had just been moved aside and was perched, sagging & forlorn, on cribbing. All of the Phase 1 work awaited. Today the house is neat as a pin and completely stabilized on a formidable new drilled-to-bedrock foundation. The site is improved, with historic views restored and all ten heritage oaks in stunning shape thanks to a full Class I pruning. The schematic architectural & landscape design of the overall project is done and it’s fabulous! And our application for a subject historical marker for the Norwood Estate has been approved at the county level.

Those are just the highlights, and we want to THANK everyone who has donated time, money and effort to the Norwood project! We are well-positioned now to launch the capital campaign that will finally finish the job of restoring & repurposing this incredible public asset. Our sincere appreciation to all the friends of Norwood, Happy Holidays, and here’s to Phase 2 construction in 2016!

2015/11/6 20:01:33

 November, 2015 - Two major items of interest and accomplishment over the past month. First, the tree work is done! It’s absolutely mind-boggling what our (10) heritage oaks look like without decades of deadwood and ball moss choking them. Kudos to Jason Derks & his crew at Heritage Tree Care for a superb job. And our thanks to the SRCC for grant funding most of this work. We’ve been wanting to do this for many years, so it’s a big deal - and was worth the wait! Gorgeous, healthy trees for ALL to enjoy for decades to come.

We’ve also just learned that our application for a subject Historical Marker for Norwood has been approved at the county level. It will move on to consideration by the state Historical Commission in January. This marker, if approved, will honor the legacy of the Norwood Estate as a cultural site, and help protect it into the future.

These last initiatives of Phase 1 of the Norwood project are winding down. It’s a fulfilling time for us, but we know the herculean task of raising several million dollars for Phase 2..is around the corner in 2016. Together, we will do it!

Be sure and visit us on Facebook to see lots of photos and keep up with the latest. A safe & happy Thanksgiving to all.

2015/10/2 0:31:24

 October, 2015 - We had a fantastic day at the site on Sept. 26th for Nat’l Public Lands Day. Volunteers cleared vegetation away from the historic walls & paths, mowed & trimmed inside the construction fence, and we enlarged window openings and really cleaned up the interior of the house. Thank you Wolf Sittler, Charlotte Bell, Brad Theriot, Cynthia Petrick, Diane Atwood, Nicolas Atwood, Brian Walters, Jeff Beckage, and Betsy Heard. It looks better out there than it has in decades! Go team.

We’ve made great strides lately. The schematic design is nearly finished, with beautiful renderings to come. And the heritage oak tree pruning we’ve been chomping at the bit (for years) to accomplish begins on Oct. 26. Please contact us if you want to get in on the fun - we’ll need lots of hands to prepare for the fundraising campaign ahead. Thanks for supporting the Norwood project! 

2015/9/1 15:36:28

September, 2015 - August was mostly a month of respite for the board, so activity has been minimal. However, we did get the final Tree Trimming Plan finished (submitting to PARD soon), finished an application for a Historic Marker (submitting that very soon as well) and we’re getting underway with the remaining work on the schematic design with the architects; meeting with the team today (1 Sept.). The estimate of the overall project is still being modified as we get input from community leaders and consider other factors (like the very hot Austin construction market), but suffice it to say we’ll need to raise several million dollars to restore the house, gazebo, & gardens, construct the accessory buildings, change & update the ingress, egress & sidewalks of the overall Norwood site, and create the orchard-like parking lot we envision. Ouch! - but…we can do it. It’s all of a piece and all needs to be done in order to properly support the operations of the house and enable Norwood Park to BE the wonderful neighborhood green space that it should be. Plans to raise the Phase 2 funds are just beginning to shape up - your ideas are most welcome! 

2015/8/4 18:12:16

August, 2015 - A huge THANKS to the friends who helped us on July 22nd & 26th for our Volunteer Cleanup Days at Norwood. Karen Saadeh, Ben Richard, Wallace Henderson, Neal Nuwash, Jean Porter, Cynthia Petrick, Betsy Heard, Susanna Bond & Brad Theriot - you’re the best! Thanks also to Pac-Van for providing a nice new storage container for the old beams and other historic elements. The site looks great!

We’re almost there on the project estimate, which will allow our fundraising plans to really take shape. We’re also continuing with interim activities like finishing the overall schematic design, and preparing the last part of our tree plan (ball-moss removal & pruning of the heritage oaks). As summer vacations wind down over the next few weeks, we’ll be summoning our energy for what’s ahead - the capital campaign to finish the job and get the Norwood House into operations.  

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