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Moody Foundation donated $2.1 million to help restore Barton Springs bathhouse

Friday, May 17, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

After 72 years of constant public use, it’s no surprise that the Barton Springs bathhouse needs a little TLC. The state of the deteriorating bathhouse prompted Barton Springs Conservancy to begin its “For the Love of the Springs” campaign in 2016 to raise funds to rehabilitate the historic bathhouse on-site. Three years later, the Conservancy has reached its fundraising goal, securing $8 million in public and private funds for a facility rehabilitation and renovation, thanks in large part to the $2.1 million donation from the Moody Foundation. Other sources of funding include $1.8 million from a voter-approved, 2012 city bond, $3 million in hotel occupancy tax funding and $1 million in private philanthropic donations. “With this gift, and the support of the Austin community, we can begin our efforts to rehabilitate the Historic Barton Springs bathhouse to its original splendor, restore the rotunda and dressing areas, and make the facilities usable for modern needs,” said Emma Lindrose-Siegel, executive director of Barton Springs Conservancy, in a statement. The Conservancy has worked closely with local architects to determine how best to respect the historic architecture of the 1947 structure that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a designated Historic Landmark by the city of Austin and state of Texas. Limbacher & Godfrey Architects, the designers behind the restoration project, will work to remodel the front entrance, reopen the original men’s and women’s bathhouse accesses at the central rotunda locations, restore and brighten the women’s dressing area, which was partly taken over by the management office, modernize the bathroom facilities, and enhance the educational components of the space. After all is said and done, Barton Springs bathhouse will once again have a glittering grand entrance through which to welcome its ever-increasing number of visitors.

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