Preliminary design approved by City Council, May 2021
The Austin Department of Parks and Recreation continues work to move the Dougherty Arts Center out of the beloved Naval Center and into a newly envisioned building to be constructed on Butler Shores Park. Since receiving City Council approval for the location of the building in the spring of 2021, the DAC project team has made significant progress in designing a facility that will meet the needs of PARD and the arts community in ‘Austin.
The DAC Project team will share the current status of facility design and information on Art in Public Places (AIPP) opportunities that will be made available through this bond-funded project. Community members are invited to see for themselves how the new Dougherty Arts Center will inspire Austinites to build community through the arts.
Built in 1947 as a naval and marine reserve centre, the DAC was dedicated to the town and named in 1978 in honor of the late arts advocate Mary Ireland Graves. Since then, the DAC has provided artistic experiences to a wide audience through its three main components. : The Dougherty Theatre, the Julia C. Butridge Gallery and the Dougherty Arts School.
As noted in a 2010 condition assessment, the DAC building is beyond repair. The building was established as a temporary structure intended to be razed in the 1970s, but was adopted as a permanent residence which outlived its viability. Following multiple planning and community engagement processes that began in 2018, City Council gave final approval to the location and direction of the new building in the spring of 2021.