Austin, TX

4 Contemporary Buildings in Austin Worth Checking Out

Denisa Feathers

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Austin is an amazingly vibrant city full of beautiful places and amazing architecture. I’ve already written about the 4 breath-taking buildings in Austin, including the Texas State Capitol and the Driskill Hotel, but how about the contemporary buildings in Austin?

They might not have the old-fashioned charm that so many buildings from the past give off, they might not be as monumental or pompous, but I’m a firm believer that there’s always beauty in everything if you’re just willing to look for it. Contemporary architecture works on a similar principle.

So let’s take a look at some of the beautiful contemporary buildings in Austin, Texas, and appreciate their original beauty.

Frost Bank Tower

This skyscraper is 515 feet tall (which is 157 metres) and it’s one of the tallest buildings in the whole of Austin! This office building was finished in 2003 and it was developed by Cousins Properties.

Frost Bank Tower was apparently the first high-rise building in the United States that was constructed after 9/11. The building has a breath-taking glass façade and a crown at the top, which makes the Frost Bank Tower very memorable. The top of the building apparently lights up for special occasions, for example the 2006 Rose Bowl.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum

This building is also known as the LBJ Presidential Library and it’s called after the 36th president of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson (who was the president from 1963 till 1969).

You can find this structure at the University of Texas at Austin’s campus. According to Culture Trip, there are many interesting things to see inside the library, for example photographs, documents and mementoes of President Johnson. The library also shows a replica of the Oval Office from when Johnson was a president.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library is administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. There are over 45 million pages of historical documents.

The Independent

The Independent is the tallest building in the whole of Austin. It’s 690 feet (210 metres) tall and it surpasses many other skyscrapers with its height, for example the Austonian (683 feet) or Frost Bank Tower (515 feet). According to Wikipedia, The Independent is “the tallest residential building in the United States west of the Mississippi River.”

The construction of the building took place between 2014 and 2016, and there are 58 floors with 370 condos. Not only that, but the building includes a club room, a heated pool, a playground, a fitness center, a yoga deck and even a dog park! Imagine that!

The Independent has nicknames such as the Jenga Tower or the Tetris Tower. However, the design has been criticized. Apparently, a protest group called Fix The Crown was created in 2019 and they criticize the design. It’s still a pretty cool building though.

The Long Center for Performing Arts

This building is in my opinion the coolest one on the list because a huge part of it is constructed out of recycled materials. 95% of the material from the Palmer Auditorium was used in the construction of the Long Center. Sustainable buildings always get a plus in my books!

The Long Center for Performing Arts is a performing arts venue. The Long Center is an expansion of the Palmer Events Center, and according to Culture Trip, it’s now “a multi-venue structure with a theater, auditorium, and outdoor concert park, along with the original Palmer Dome.”

Final Thoughts

I could go on and on about all the beautiful buildings in Austin, but these four are the ones that have caught my eye.

From skyscrapers to libraries to venues, there are many contemporary buildings in Austin that are definitely worth checking out.

Photo Credit: Kate Baucherei on Pixabay

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I'm a student of Languages & Comparative Literature who writes about relationships, self-improvement, lifestyle, books, and more.

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