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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. In a perfect world, all of our parks would be fully funded and the assets therein well cared for. But in today’s world, municipal budgets are strained. The City of Austin is no exception.

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 needs of the 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 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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2017/8/31 16:40:16

 

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 9:30:00

 

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 14:10:00

 

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 9:30:00

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.

2017/4/3 18:40:00

 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/

2017/3/7 20:10:00

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 11:45:45

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 9:01:13

 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!

2016/11/8 9:38:42

 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 16:53:18

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.

2016/9/1 23:13:46

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 16:36:25

 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 14:29:00

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!

2016/5/8 21:11:16

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 11:15:34

 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!

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