The New West Side

The New West Side - Austin, Texas

The New West Side – Austin, Texas

A little less than two years ago, I did a Photo Essay called West Austin Rising. A lot has changed. Since then, there’s another layer of buildings added to the western edge of the Central Business District. The 2nd Street Bridge is open, tying the newly opened Central Library and the Seaholm Development to the rest of the high rises.

I went downtown again, a week after my photo walk with Jim, which I showcased over the last couple of weeks. I was there with another photography friend, Chuck, who also shares my interest in architecture.

The New West Side - Austin, Texas

I shot both photos as I made my way from the parking lot to our meeting point, in my Cinematics format. The buildings are rising so quickly, I was taken aback by how much the skyline has changed in this area.

In this second photo, you can clearly see the relationship of the new Central Library, on the bottom left, with the rising skyscrapers on the right. The curved arches of the 2nd Street Bridge are dead center. The tall building on the left is The Independent, which I’ve mentioned before. This high-end Condo will be the tallest Austin building, for now.

I had a fun and productive photography night with Chuck. Just shooting in this area yielded many keepers, which I’ll feature over the next series of posts.

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7 thoughts on “The New West Side

  1. This could be where I live which is kind of sad in a way. In my job I work at making the city a smart and liveable city (from a technology aspect) and we talk a lot about innovation and liveability and designers come up with designs that look amazing when you see the artist’s impressions but the reality never matches the illustrations. Not even close. And inevitably, the problems we seek to fix, remain. I’m seeing too many resources and effort being put into the “smart” aspects with little going towards the “liveability” aspects. Of course that could just be my perception, but still, I can’t help but wonder at what it would be like if all the developments ended up looking like the artists’ impressions.

    I do like the looks of that bridge in your photo though. Are those power lines a temporary fixture? I ask because it is unusual to see above-ground power lines in a built-up, city area these days. Especially in newer cities.

    1. I do love those artist renderings of new developments. They always looks so optimistic and have an idealized romance to them. Yes, reality never does quite match.

      I do like how this part of downtown is developing however. For the people who can afford to live there, there does appear to be a nice quality of life. The problem, of course, is affordability.

      Unfortunately, those power lines are permanent. There is an electrical sub-station nearby and I think these supply a higher voltage. Many of the regular power lines are underground, in downtown, but these do detract.

  2. Hey — I just stumbled upon the slideshow function in the gallery revealed upon clicking an image in the blog. Somehow I’d never noticed the little “play slideshow” arrow in the bottom left corner of the page. It’s quite nice.

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