[As of 02-19-2024: If you read the following and agree, you should send your own personal message to: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Stephanie.email@example.com, Marisol.firstname.lastname@example.org, Kaycie.Roberts@austintexas.gov, Sammi.Curless@austintexas.gov, Susana.Carbajal@austintexas.gov] and include me: email@example.com. Thanks for your interest.
The current women's dressing/shower area of the historic Barton Springs Pool Bathhouse (BSPBH) has been greatly altered in the 2024 site plan by the firm Limbacher-Godfrey.
Considering the removal of nearly every 1946 element in the women's dressing/shower area, how could the Limbach-Godfrey 2024 site plan pass the review of the Texas Historical Commission? This is difficult to understand in light of Laurie Limbacher's membership on the Texas Historical Commission. [http://limbacher-godfrey.com/2018/laurie-limbacher-joins-the-texas-historical-commission/]
Let's take a look at the 1946 plan and compare it to the existing bathhouse design. The 1946 elements are beautiful and functional, and show an understanding of women's conversational habits.
Consider how the existing historic elements have been destroyed in the Limbacher-Godfrey design:
Take a look at the existing women's dressing/shower design from 1946:
Why has City Hall allowed this Limbacher-Godfrey destruction of historical elements from the 1946 design? Restoration is needed, not destruction. Anything less is an irresponsible use of $17 million of taxpayer money.
Did "2018 community engagement" support the destruction of historic elements?
According to a recent email, the City believes that it can trust their 2018 process of "community engagement" and that our current ASAP urgent request for "change orders" are arriving at the last minute.
Last minute? I've been trying to find out about the Limbacher-Godfrey plan since Sept. 1, 2022. This email below -- which I personally sent to a Barton Springs Conservancy Board Member/professional architect who was a "stakeholder" and privy to the details of the design -- was not answered by the BSC Board Member:
The word in the "locker room" is that the Barton Springs Pool bathhouse is scheduled for remodeling starting in Jan. 2023.Is there a public web page with details/design/schedule? The women swimmers are keen to see any info that is readily available. We just don't know where to look online.And is there still an avenue for swimmers to offer suggestions or input? Your thoughts on that, too, are appreciated.Thanks!Di
What the City says: Community engagement 2018 made us do it.
Online survey now closed, follow-up meetings were held:
• October 30, 2018 Open House, Preliminary Concepts and Values Survey feedback (3 women’s designs)
Survey results for concepts based on Bathhouse Values (and the 3 designs for the women's area) - 15 participants attended. They were divided nearly equally in opinion about the 3 designs for the women's dressing/shower area. Why were men even allowed to comment on the women's dressing area? Why not ask the experts: the women?
Mike Cannatti, president of Barton Springs Conservancy, even wrote his survey comment about the women's dressing/shower area -- and he has never even used it!
"Plan 3 does the best to restore, reopen, and improve user experience. Love, Cannatti"
• MISSING from the CoA web page: The “presentation of the Final Schematic Design.”
Who saw the final design? We don’t know. But some people must have seen the Final Schematic Design because there are survey results. And they don’t look good:
Final Schematic Design Survey results - A survey of 272 participants were asked two questions:
(1) Do you like it? (62% did NOT love it)
(2) Did we achieve the Values (63% said “not perfectly”)?
• Oct. 30, 2019 Presentation #4 (final) - no feedback accepted. We see the Limbacher-Godfrey Plan, and it has been written-in-stone since at least October 2019. (The 2019 "Preferred Design" appears to be identical to the 2024 Site Plan.) The schematic of the "Preferred Design" was created over 4 years ago. Why were swimmers and staff NOT asked by the CoA to be a “technical advisory group” to allow user experience expertise — the experience of the year-round swimmers — to provide feedback and suggestions to preserve the historic elements and functionality for everyone?
The 2019 Limbacher-Godfrey schematic is identical to the 2024 Limbacher-Godfrey site plan.
No community input or expert swimmer/staff user-experience feedback has been incorporated into the Limbacher-Godfrey design for over 4 years!
It was locked-in-stone in 2019!
Let's dial back in time to see the 2018 Values.
Barton Springs Bathhouse Values Based on input from the Community Meeting and Values Workshop on August 14, 2018
CLARIFY THE MISSION —Simplify
It’s a bathhouse—focus on the visitors
Open to the public as much as possible
IMPROVE USER EXPERIENCE
Better, cleaner, possibly more restrooms
Better privacy for families
More solar showers
Better arrival experience, better leaving experience
Education for all users
Expand the mission to include education in the building and on the grounds
Educate users to the fragility of the spring complex
Respect the original architecture
Celebrate the Rotunda.
Use it as the main entry
Enjoy the two-story, naturally-ventilated volumes
Amplify the green/natural features in the dressing areas
Consider efforts to reduce impervious cover and to improve stormwater quality
LIMIT IMPACT ON ONGOING FACILITY OPERATION
One-phase project preferred Minimize disruption of bathhouse and pool operation
Maintain ongoing use by swimmers
Based on the 2018 "Values" it seems clear to me that the Limbacher-Godfrey Final Design gets an "F" for "HISTORIC ARCHITECTURE - Respect the original architecture."
Last topic: Why does the Final Design have five (5) family restrooms?
Let's look at the survey results from 1,082 participants in 2018: