The Best Public View of Downtown Austin

Downtown from the Library - Austin, Texas

Downtown from the Library – Austin, Texas

Austin doesn’t have many public buildings that give a nice view of the downtown skyscrapers, especially from up high. Unless you know the businesses or residents in those tall buildings, you are mostly out of luck. But, I found a suitable vantage point.

For all the times I’ve visited the new Austin Central Library, I inexplicably never made it to the top-level deck. I finally did, and the view was fantastic. I didn’t have the right lens on the high-quality Fuji, so I shot with my Olympus compact camera at its widest 28mm equivalent. Here’s what I saw.

You get a birds-eye view of all the places I’ve talked about recently, including the 2nd Street Bridge.

Downtown from the Library - Austin, Texas

I talked about this big hole a couple of days ago. That’s where the future Google Tower is going to be built. Of course, once completed, the skyline will change yet again. The triangular-shaped building should be interesting, but will probably block the multi-stepped Northshore Apartments.

Nearly every building you see, including the ones on the distant horizon, where built within the last ten years. I only see four that were built before that. That gives you a good idea of the city’s growth.

Downtown from the Library - Austin, Texas

The glass-fronted building with the white trim on the other side of the bridge is the Austin Proper, a luxury hotel and residence. It’s nearly complete and features two large owl statues by the bridge.

Behind the Austin Proper is a dark blue glass building, which is a Google building shared with Deloitte. You can probably make out the colorful G at the top of the building.

Downtown from the Library - Austin, Texas

Finally, you can see the open-air deck on the top of the library, and its relationship to downtown. Besides being a much larger facility with a glorious interior architecture, the new library has amenities that make it a community center. They’ve done a fantastic job replacing the previous functional but dispiriting central library on the northern edge of downtown.

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