Permit to demolish HOPE Outdoor Gallery graffiti park moves forward

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — The process to demolish the HOPE Outdoor Gallery, also known as “Graffiti Park,” is moving forward after the Historical Landmark Commission voted Monday to approve the permit for the demolition but only after photographs are taken of the artwork for preservation purposes.

While the HOPE Outdoor Gallery isn’t a historic site, the commission stated “it is a site of value to the community and visitors” in the agenda item. The commission would like a comprehensive photo-documentation of the gallery to be preserved and archived at the Austin History Center.

The graffiti park sprung up about seven years ago at its location on Baylor Street on the western edges of downtown Austin. Ever since, tourists and locals flock to the area to take fun, artsy and Instagram-worthy photos.

Once the photo-documentation process is complete, the permit allows crews to demolish all of the concrete walls and slabs on the lot. The commission states the walls and slabs have “no architectural, historical or known archaeological significance.” The project won’t officially be torn down until June.

The HOPE Outdoor Gallery is relocating and expanding with the creation of a new six-acre project launching at Carson Creek Ranch in southeast Austin. Members with HOPE say the new location, located at 9507 Sherman Rd., will allow for growing crowds by including more wall space, a parking lot and art classes for children and adults.

“This new, evolved art park will be a special place for the community to call their own,” said Andi Scull Cheatham, founder and executive producer of HOPE Events in November.

People who live right next to the graffiti park say the popularity of the artwork has become a hassle for the neighborhood. “I won’t say that I’ll miss it that much,” said neighbor Sarah Pope. “To get out of my driveway, sometimes it takes 10-15 minutes. Sometimes when it’s gridlocked, I’ll be one car away from my driveway and I just can’t get in.”

The Carson Creek location will begin construction in early 2018, with a projected opening of end of 2018.

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