Plaza Saltillo as it relates to Masontown

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Christopher Hutchins
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:58 pm

Plaza Saltillo as it relates to Masontown

Post by Christopher Hutchins » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:37 pm

This message is from Bob Ward, District 7 constituent. The Mayor and Council received the email below on February 19, 2017. Council Member Houston is interested in learning from Capital Metro what the outcomes of the discussions have been to memorialize this historic site.

" The Travis County Historical Commission has been following the discussion about the Saltillo Development Project and has been in contact with CapMetro about the property over the last few years. The Saltillo Development will sit almost exactly on the footprint of an earlier Freedmen's Colony, Masontown, which began following the Civil War. It was an African-American settlement both before and after the railroad was built through it and descendants of the original colony lived in the area until recently. While it transitioned into a mostly Mexican-American area over time, we are afraid that the earlier history of the tract will be swept away and lost if not recognized and acknowledged at the site. Although we have been repeatedly assured by CapMetro that the Endeavor Development group would contact us regarding this issue, we have not heard anything and are starting to worry that it may get lost in the discussion. The reports that we have read seem to indicate that Endeavor is back-peddling on some of its earlier promises regarding zoning, height and affordable housing and are afraid that our request will meet the same fate. Please include an historical component into the mix of demands from the city pertaining to Endeavor's responsibilities. The Travis County Historical Commission will be happy to facilitate in any way we can."

Leslie Pool
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:22 pm

Re: Plaza Saltillo as it relates to Masontown

Post by Leslie Pool » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:00 pm

CM Houston, thanks for sharing the email message from Bob Ward. I am very interested in hearing more about the history of the Plaza Saltillo site, especially as it relates to an earlier African-American neighborhood, Masontown. I would welcome Endeavor and Capital Metro addressing the issue at their earliest opportunity, and would support efforts to acknowledge the history of this place along the lines Mr Ward describes; the Travis County Historical Commission has a good track record of documenting and memorializing the places and people who have mattered in Austin's storied past.

Best,

Leslie
Leslie Pool
Council Member, District 7

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