Laguna Gloria Groundbreaking Begins Museum’s Transformation

March 28, 2018by Brian Talley

Laguna Gloria celebrated its Phase I groundbreaking this March, kick starting a renovation that includes adding an arrival garden, retail space, an outdoor café, and shade canopies for guests. Laguna Gloria, on 14 acres along Lake Austin, is the former home of celebrated Texan Clara Driscoll, and the grounds include a 100-year-old Italianate Villa, The Contemporary Austin Art School, and a sculpture park. The goal of the renovation is to invite “the serendipitous discovery of art and nature,” according to a release. The project is expected to be completed within a year.

“Phase I of the Laguna Gloria Master Plan will have an enormous impact on what a visit to Laguna Gloria will feel like,” said The Contemporary Austin Ernest and Sarah Butler Executive Director and CEO Louis Grachos. “We’re literally opening up walls along the new entryway, so there will be no mistake that all of Austin is welcome to enjoy the unique encounters with art and nature that can only be found at Laguna Gloria.”

The new entrance will include works of art by Jessica Stockholder that will be incorporated along the streetscape of West 35th Street. The West 35th Street corridor, which includes Mayfield Park and Preserve and Westwood Country Club, will join with the City of Austin’s Neighborhood Partnering Program for new sidewalks, new landscaping, pedestrian paths, and formalized parking spaces, “increasing safety for thousands of visitors to all three destinations,” said the release.

In honor of a $3 million grant from The Moody Foundation, the amenities will be named the Moody Pavilions. The Moody Foundation Trustee Ross Moody said the grant was offered because “We want to invest in spaces where the community can experience art in nature. … We believe the community-and visitors from around the world-will enjoy the new amenities at Laguna Gloria for many generations to come, and we’re proud to be a champion for the transformation of the site.”

Additional supporters include the Edward and Betty Marcus Foundation, The Meadows Foundation, the Still Water Foundation, Austin Community Foundation, The O’Shaughnessy-Rivers Family Fund, and gifts from museum trustees, including Jeanne and Mickey Klein, Kathleen Irvin Loughlin and Chris Loughlin, and Jannette and Pat Keating.