Republic Square was named the 2018 Best Public Place at the ULI Austin 2018 Impact Awards last Tuesday. This award recognizes a completed project that provides the public with enhanced civic, open, or public space access and experiences. Public spaces chosen for this honor create a lively community gathering space, exhibit intensive regular use, act as a magnet for a broad group of users, and are inviting to the public regardless of ownership.
Since it's reopening last fall, Republic Square has become a downtown destination with a wide range of events and programs that attract a diverse audience of locals, downtown employees, and visitors. In the past year, the square has hosted many free events including a monthlong fitness series, family-friendly movies, a summer yoga series, weekly SFC farmers' market, Austin's Birthday Bash, a full day celebration in August, and much more.
The major renovation of Republic Square in 2017 was made possible by a public-private partnership between the Downtown Austin Alliance, Austin Parks Foundation andthe Austin Parks and Recreation Department. The Austin Parks Foundation raised $5.9 million through a capital campaign and $2.5 million in federal and municipal dollars for the renovation. Since it's reopening, the Downtown Austin Alliance has overseen the operations, maintenance, and programming of the square.
ULI Austin’s annual Impact Awards celebrate projects and people throughout greater Austin that exemplify ULI's mission to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities. The other finalists for this year's best public place award were Fareground at One Eleven and The Trail Bridge at Congress Avenue both incredible additions to public space in downtown Austin.
A special thanks to the project team who worked on the renovation of Republic Square including Design Workshop, Inc., Clean Scapes Landscaping, Benz Resource Group, Miró Rivera Architects, Asterisk Group Design, City of Austin Art in Public Places program, and Kincannon Studios and the many more people and organizations who contributed time, expertise, and funding to restore this historic gathering place into a new, vibrant space for the entire community to enjoy.