Dear Bridget Dunlap,
In the precious few years I spent living in Austin, I watched the growth of Rainey Street radiate out from Lustre Pearl. It was the anchor of the neighborhood, the stalwart establishment that everyone in town knew and loved (or at least respected). It was my favorite bar in the city, a place where I could always count on having a good night.
The demise (hiatus I hear…) of Lustre Pearl exemplifies the direction Austin is heading. Make way for the disposable, cookie cutter apartments cuz there’s no turning back now. I could trot out the old “Don’t Dallas my Austin” phrase, but it doesn’t do it justice. I don’t even think Dallas would go this far. People have been complaining about Austin changing for decades and I normally tune it out. Change is the one thing you can count on, but now I’m joining the whining wagon.
It’s easy to point to the numbers and say that the apartment building will bring more people and money to Downtown Austin. That it’s a long term investment for the city. Well I say we lost a keystone piece of the city’s character and have set a precedent for developing the city. Next thing you know, they’ll be putting a Razzoo’s on Barton Springs…
Did you ever consider going down the Historical Marker route to save the block? Those houses had to be close to 100 years hold. Also, I’ve got just the spot for a Lustre Pearl here in Dallas….