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PARD celebrates historic chapel restoration

Thursday, August 2, 2018 by Katy McElroy

The city’s restoration work on the chapel in Austin’s oldest municipal burial ground is complete. The chapel at Oakwood Cemetery received a host of structural improvements, including foundation stabilization, drainage and ADA-access improvements, and overhaul of the mechanical, electrical and lighting systems. In addition, the original floor plan was restored, along with many interior and exterior finishes, including masonry, doors, windows, plaster and more. Oakwood Cemetery, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, a city Historic Landmark, and a registered Historic Texas Cemetery, was founded in 1839. The chapel renovation project experienced a delay when several unmarked graves were found beneath the building, which had been constructed in 1914 in the nonwhite section of the segregated cemetery. The remains were subsequently exhumed, and the city plans to reinter the remains at a later date. The project is part of the Historic Cemeteries Master Plan, which was adopted in 2014, and the Parks and Recreation Department paid for the rehabilitation project with funding from the 2012 GO Bond. Members of the community are invited to join PARD in commemorating the completion of the Oakwood Cemetery Chapel restoration at a celebration Aug. 24 at 1601 Navasota St., at 10 a.m.

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