Seaholm Waterfront

The Seaholm Intake is an iconic Art Deco building that once was the pump house for the Seaholm Power Plant, which operated until 1989. In 1996, Austin City Council authorized the decommissioning of the plant and all the associated buildings in preparation for future adaptive reuse.

In the fall of 2016, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) and key partners discussed strategies to achieve the greatest public benefit for the Seaholm Intake and surrounding parkland that could best harness the energy and resources of the non-profit and philanthropic sector. A collaborative planning study, led by internationally recognized architecture and urbanism firm Studio Gang, began in June 2017 and was completed in 2018. The study provides PARD and The Trail Conservancy (TTC) with the programming, phasing, operational, and financial model needed to develop a world-class public facility that protects and celebrates the architectural and historical significance of the Seaholm Intake structure.

The plan, which relies heavily on public input via online platforms, stakeholder meetings, and public open houses, has served as a roadmap for future park improvements and the repurposing of the decommissioned Seaholm Intake structures for public use and recreation. The plan is ambitious and broken into several phases that will incrementally bring the entire Seaholm Waterfront site to life.

As of September 2022, Phase 1 has been completed. Phase 1, funded through Hotel Occupancy Tax revenue and 2018 bond funding, restored the building to a level that allows small groups to now visit the site safely with the support of City or TTC guides. The scope of this phase included building exterior cleaning and removal of graffiti, window restoration, enclosing large openings in the floor with the installation of new flooring atop a modular steel system, noise reduction with the installation of new acoustic ceiling tiles, new interior and exterior lighting, ADA accessibility improvements, and a new roof. An accessory building was also updated, providing event restrooms and event staging.

Ultimately, full access to the Intake will begin upon completion of Phase 2, bringing the facility to life and providing the amenities and maintenance needed for daily operations. The Trail Conservancy, in partnership with PARD, is launching a $10,000,000 capital campaign in 2022 to fund Phase 2 and will begin the construction of this phase once the campaign goal has been reached.

In the meantime, the City of Austin Parks Department and The Trail Conservancy have planned a variety of public programs that will allow safe, limited access to the space and surrounding parkland. These programs include, but are not limited to:

  • TTC Music on the Trail series
  • TTC Flow & Thrive fitness series
  • TTC Scavenger Hunt
  • TTC ecological restoration volunteer events
  • PARD family-friendly open house and historic tour events

 

The Seaholm Intake, upon completion of Phase 2, will be a community gathering space for daily use by the public.

For more information and to stay up to date on this exciting project, sign up for The Trail Conservancy newsletter or visit seaholmwaterfront.org. Please send film permit inquiries to reservations@austintexas.gov, historic information and tour inquiries to HistoricAustinParks@austintexas.gov, and project construction and planning inquiries to  Christina Bies, Project Coordinator, at christina.bies@austintexas.gov.