Curated by the AIA Austin Latinos in Architecture (LiA) Committee and launched in September 2022 in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Espacios Espaciales highlights places and spaces that are significant to Austin’s Latino/a/x community. Featuring a range of projects and historic sites in downtown and East Austin, this tour celebrates the resilience, heritage, and pride of this diverse cultural group.
To say that Austin’s Hispanic population has undergone change is an understatement. Upon the implementation of the city’s segregationist 1928 Master Plan, established communities were forced to relocate from central enclaves to East Austin—a cultural erasure that continues to be felt today. The civil rights movement marked a breakthrough toward abolishing racial discrimination. But the decades since have brought new challenges: rising property taxes, lack of affordable housing, and gentrification are forcing longtime Hispanic residents to move outside of the city limits, resulting in fragmented relationships and an overall decrease in the Hispanic population. Shining a light on sites that play an important role in Austin’s Hispanic community is one way to preserve their hard-fought legacy.
Narratives for this tour were written by LiA members Jaime Alvarez, AIA; Erasmo Cantu; Stephanie Gussman; Francisco Jose Rosales, ASLA; and Miren Urena. Additional editorial coordination was provided by Bud Franck and Courtney Mallen, Assoc. AIA. Photography was provided by Christopher Ferguson, AIA and Ian Templeton. Special thanks to Annissa Calvillo.
The mission of the AIA Austin Latinos in Architecture Committee is to serve and support local communities; strengthen networks between design professionals; and enrich our practice through diverse cultural views by fostering participation in educational, professional, and community-oriented programs.