h+uo BLOG

Monthly Archives: May 2013

Revitalizing the Chicon Neighborhood with a Mixed Use Development

Posted in In Progress by Kristie
May 30, 2013

It may be hard to believe, but East Austin intersection 12th and Chicon used to be a flourishing artistic, cultural, and commercial hub enjoyed by Austin’s African-American community. It was home to the Harlem Theater, which was greatly enjoyed by its African American neighbors. Today this area is notoriously known by Austinites as an area of drug-dealing, theft, and prostitution. The Harlem Theater is long gone and the only historic live music venue that remains in this area is the famous Victory Grill, built in 1945.

In an effort to bring this historic area back to life, the Chestnut Neighborhood Development Corporation selected h+uo architects to help revitalize this area into a thriving healthy neighborhood once again. Chicon Corridor is a mixed use project that will include 9,000 square feet of local retail and office spaces on the ground floor with affordable occupied housing on the 2nd and 3rd floors. While the development includes contemporary forms, the design of the project still honors the rich cultural heritage of the area. The project will be located on Chicon between 13th and 14th Streets.

SW Lot Elevation NE Lot Elevation

h+uo is currently waiting on receiving variances from the city, and is expected to break ground by the end of 2013.



HausBar Farms Selected for AIA Homes Tour!

Posted in Company News by Kristie
May 23, 2013

Master House

We have just received notification that one of our newly completed residential projects has been selected for this year’s AIA Homes Tour!  

As part of the selection process, a large group of AIA committee members visited the East Austin residence and adjoining gardens, known as HausBar Farms and owned by Dorsey Barger and Susan Hausmann.  Principal partner, Tom Hatch, and architect, Kelly Stephenson represented h+uoat the site visit. Tom shared some early concept sketches and Kelly discussed the highlights of design as well as the owners’ dedication to realizing their dream of running a completely sustainable urban farm. Congregating in the fully- equipped outdoor kitchen, committee members provided lots of positive feedback on the flow of the floor plan and the strong connection between indoor and outdoor living spaces. Afterward, they had a great time meeting some of the animals such as Gustavo the goose and Julian and Rosie, the resident donkeys.


The 2013 AIA Homes Tour will take place November 2-3, 2013.  Each year the tour showcases new and newly-renovated homes designed by talented Austin architects.   For more information about the AIA Homes Tour, visit http://www.aiahomestour.com/


Preserving the Historic Clarksville Neighborhood

Posted in In Progress by Kristie
May 16, 2013

The Clarksville neighborhood has a long history dating back to the slavery days. Governor Elisha Pease’s plantation and nearby slave quarters resided in this area. In 1865 after emancipation, Pease gave land in the Clarksville area to some of his favorite former slaves and sold land to others. Small wood-frame homes were built, the Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church was created, and a tight-knit community was formed into the Clarksville neighborhood. Established by former slave Charles Clark, he envisioned the neighborhood as a community where former slaves could reunite with their families and friends, and finally lead their own lives.


In Progress

Most of the original Clarksville homes are gone and most African American residents have been driven out of the neighborhood by decades of land speculation, gentrification, construction of Mopac and rising property taxes. Owner of this development, Tom Blackwell, realized the value of preserving these three remaining historic structures.

While collaborating with h+uo architects, the team came up with the concept of adding two homes on 10th and 11th Streets, fronted by the rehabilitated historic structures. These substantially-sized and complementary homes were built to the rear of the historic homes.

Added Homes

This project successfully balances historic preservation and new custom home development.  Given the small size of the saved units, this is a process that is rarely embraced in West Austin.


New Boutique Hotel Under Construction

Posted in In Progress by Kristie
May 9, 2013

Current Building - 702 San Antonio Street

Senior Partner, Tom Hatch, is transforming 702 San Antonio Street that is currently occupied by tenants as well as the h+uo office, into boutique hotel, The Murphy Hotel. Named after his beloved canine pet, Murphy, this is a passion project for Hatch.

The Murphy will be a unique, small hotel offering upscale accommodations to local, regional, national and international business travelers and tourists. Just 24 rooms tastefully decorated in simple European style, The Murphy will be downtown Austin’s first small boutique hotel.

Located on 702 San Antonio Street, the hotel will provide scenic views of downtown Austin to be enjoyed over the hotel’s rooftop deck. The Murphy is two blocks from Austin’s lively West 6th Street, and in walking distance to Town Lake, business meetings or dinner and dancing. Guests may also opt for one of the hotel’s bikes or be picked up at the door by a horse-drawn carriage (cars also available).

This new boutique hotel is being designed by h+uo architects and contracted by Bailey Elliott Construction. The Murphy is expected to open its doors to guests in the summer of 2014.



Bringing New Life to a Historic Electrical Substation at Sparky Park

Posted in In Progress by Kristie
May 1, 2013

Sparky Park Rendering

Originally an electrical substation, this decommissioned tract in Austin’s Hyde Park neighborhood was recently transformed into a small pocket park. Due to the neighborhood’s strong advocacy for the park’s development, the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department agreed to commission the project. Renamed Sparky Park, the site was recently opened up for the use of the neighborhood. The site contains a gem of a building. The actual substation building, built in the 1930s, has been historically preserved with the exception of one of the four walls which was moved and replaced at a later date. This wall now presents an opportunity for renovations which will allow the neighborhood to use this historic structure. The Parks Department has been holding neighborhood meetings and giving the community an opportunity to express their ideas regarding how this building should be used. Outdoor movies, art shows, theatrical performances, neighborhood meetings, and other special events have been suggested.


h+uo was brought onto the project by the City of Austin Parks Department to create and develop a feasibility study tasked with determining possible uses for the space as well as a proposed design. h+uo’s Tom Hatch proposed to the neighborhood last week a design that suggests opening up a wide swath of the non-historic east wall and inserting a large folding glass door system. This new opening would facilitate easy transitions from inside to out for people attending functions at the building and would have a pull-down projection screen for movies in the park. h+uo is also proposing repurposing steel bases for the columns holding up a new awning which will stretch out over the area outside the new doors. A new bathroom and kitchenette added to the building, along with the wall replacement, will provide many opportunities for the community to activate this new-old park structure.

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