24
Sep
by: Joel Michael
stored in: General

Ugh, the obsession! I can’t get the railroad track/bike path out of my head. I’ve written about it before in my Clement Industrial Track post. Now I want to talk about Tiny Town. Tiny Town is what neighbor Joe Lacey calls the little triangular-shaped piece of land formed by alleyways and the tracks to hold the little cottagesĀ just off Fifth Street behind the 5th Street Grill. I’m suggesting that Tiny Town be expanded to include adjacent triangular lots with their own cottages. I don’t know how all the details would work out. Please leave questions and ideas as comments. Let’s see what happens.

The Tiny Town Redevelopment really only makes sense if the tracks become a bike path. So, I’ve conceived of the development as being based around bicycling – which seems fitting for a neighborhood related to the Huffy Corporation.

To help visualize the idea, check out the video and then look at austinyellowbike.org, rosschapin.com, and cottagecompany.com.

4 Responses to “Tiny Town Redevelopment Idea”

  1. Danielle Dumont Says:

    Lots of cool ideas here, including building new cottages in an historic district. Should be an interesting process getting the new building designs approved by the Landmarks Commission.

  2. Joel Michael Says:

    The existing Tiny Town cottages are probably a better guide for this kind of infill than the Victorians along the regular streets. The orientation of the cottages respects the railroad track/bike path just as the originals do. As far as architectural details, the original Tiny Town cottages don’t have much to match. The Chapin cottages do, however, meet the proportions of the originals quite well. I really don’t think this is that much of a stretch.

  3. Rosie Miller Says:

    OK, I’m showing my age now, but when I was a child, I lived on Henry St. in what is now St. Anne’s Hill. We always walked to the Carneigie library (now the Simms Center) by way of “the tracks.” In those days there was a crossing gate at June St, Ringgold St. and Fifth. The gates were manually operated from a switch house that had to be manned 24 hours a day. If I remember it was on the west side of Ringgold. The switchmen and their families lived in the small cottages. And yes, we called it “Tiny Town” in those days as well.

    One switchman in particular would wave to us and if we came back from the library with a book, he would give us a piece of candy, usually a toostie roll or a MaryJane.

    I agree with the article, there is great potenital along the tracks.

  4. Joel Michael Says:

    Rosie,
    You need to share these stories with us more often! A volunteer organization like Austin’s Yellow Bike Project located on Ringgold at the track would be a nice homage to the generosity of your switchman. I love how he lived, worked, and gave to his community. Everything about it is so directly impactful. I think the switchman’s lifestyle is a great example for what Tiny Town’s residents could be like through the volunteer bike organization based right on the bike path. Wow! More stories, please.

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