City of Austin to Break Ground on Barton Springs Bathhouse Rehabilitation Project

City of Austin to Break Ground on Barton Springs Bathhouse Rehabilitation Project

A groundbreaking celebration for the rehabilitation of the iconic Barton Springs Bathhouse is set to take place on Thursday, February 22 at 10 a.m. The event will be held at 2131 William Barton Dr. and will be attended by representatives from the City of Austin, Parks and Recreation Department, Capital Delivery Services Department, and the Barton Springs Conservancy.

The 1947 Barton Springs Bathhouse, known for its Art Moderne Style, holds significant historical value as a State Antiquities Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It houses lifeguard offices and an educational exhibit focusing on the endangered salamanders that inhabit Barton Springs.

Key elements of the rehabilitation project include the replacement of mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and drainage systems, structural improvements to meet code requirements, enhanced pool entry and exit areas, improved public spaces, landscaping, and parking facilities. Additionally, a fire truck access lane will be constructed to enhance safety measures, along with improvements to life safety and accessibility in compliance with Texas Accessibility Standards.

The restoration of the historical rotunda as the main entry and the redesign of the educational exhibit within the Beverly Sheffield Education Center aim to promote stewardship of Barton Springs and the Edwards Aquifer by educating visitors about the importance of water conservation and preserving the salamander habitat.

The rehabilitation project will commence on February 15, 2024, with substantial completion expected in spring 2025. During construction, temporary restroom and shower facilities will be provided adjacent to the bathhouse.

Barton Springs Pool will maintain its regular operating hours and remain open to swimmers throughout the rehabilitation period. A temporary pool entrance will be available on the north side near the bathhouse, while the south pool entry at Azie Morton Road will remain unchanged.

Traffic on William Barton Drive near the bathhouse will be restricted to one-way for emergency vehicles, construction deliveries, and vehicles requiring accessible parking. Public parking will not be available except for accessible parking as per the Americans with Disabilities Act and Texas Accessibility Standards.

Funding for the project is sourced from various avenues, including the Historic Preservation Fund, 2012 Bond Program, Zilker Parking Fees, One-time City Council Funding, and contributions from the Barton Springs Conservancy, the City’s Watershed Protection Department, and Austin Water Department.

The City of Austin recognizes the significance of its public parks, museums, and cultural centers as top tourist attractions and continues to invest in their preservation and enhancement. Special thanks are extended to the Heritage Tourism Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department and Art in Public Places for their contributions to the project.