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New AHCA Board Approves Bold Vision for Austin’s History

The AHCA is continuing to raise its commitment to the future of Austin history.

After years of dedication and work toward the goal of expanding the Austin History Center into the John Henry Faulk Library building, AHCA is dreaming bigger and stretching its commitment further. At its first meeting of the fiscal year, the AHCA Board of Directors voted to take a leadership role in securing funding to merge the current 1933 AHC building and the 1979 Faulk, converting them into “Austin History Central,” a state-of-the-art archival, research, and interactive exhibit campus that will serve as the centerpiece of a new downtown historical corridor.

The new AHCA commitment comes after members led the effort in the fall of 2018 to secure citizen approval of bond money for safety code upgrades and general repair of the John Henry Faulk Library building and to prepare it for expansion of the Austin History Center. Work on that phase, and other bond-funded foundation repairs for the 1933 AHC building, are expected to begin in 2021.

The AHCA board’s vote commits the organization to raising $150,000, half of the funds necessary to create a formal programmatic master plan for the “Austin History Central” project by 2021. Others involved in the fundraising effort include the Austin Public Library, the AHC, history-related organizations, and the Austin community. The master plan would be based on the January 2019 Gensler Reimagining the Faulk project, which envisions renovations that would allow citizens to digitally and visually interact with the vast collections, written record, and millions of images maintained at AHC.

The AHCA board also agreed to start initial discussions to explore the feasibility of a community capital campaign within the next five to seven years to raise money to implement the master plan and thus create the “Austin History Central” archival, research, and interactive exhibit campus.

The initial fundraising effort for the master plan has already started. If you would like to donate to the future of preserving Austin’s past, send your check to:

Austin History Center Association

P.O. Box 2287

Austin, TX 78768

Along with these visionary goals, the AHCA board also approved 17 others related to AHCA’s traditional efforts in support of the AHC, including the oral history initiative, a revamp of AHCA’s publishing arm, Waterloo Press, and the Angelina Eberly Luncheon, which is currently being planned as a virtual event.

The board committed to strengthening AHCA’s financial picture in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused suspension of all live fundraising events.

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