I went to Austin on Thursday, came back Friday. Really enjoyed it, wish I had more time.
I stopped in Waco on the way down, I was pleasantly suprised. Waco seems to be trying to build itself a good urban core, they have some nice bike lanes and lots of them have large green sections at lights. There are a few new apartment buildings on the north side that have residential on the upper few floors, and the bottom floor is covered park, but with retail at the corners. Though I did'nt walk that way, the area along the river is filled with trails and trees and seemed pretty active with bikers and dog walkers. Seemed very green to, several buildings had solar panels and lots of flower pots and trees.
Some of the bike Lanes
Some of the new apartments, you can see the open but coverered parking spaces, but on the end there was a sandwhich shop or something, and another behind me.
Austin Avenue was the real core of the city, the "main" street, lined with trees, home brewed shops, theatres, and historic buildings.
Kress looks a bit different here, but a beautiful building just like ours!
Nice little restoration/convesion.
Some of the other bigger buildings around town.
Not all is perfect, there are still a bunch of either surface lots or empty overgrown lots. But progress is good. I understand that a good majority of the town was taken out by a Tornado in the 50's.
What I really wanted to check out though was the Alico Building. At some point it had it's lower floors and entrance area just butchered. Makes me thankful for XTO restoring all the buildings they have here.
According to Wikipedia
"The ALICO Building
is a 22-story office building in downtown Waco, Texas
, United States
, located on Austin and 5th Streets. It was built in 1910 by the architectural firm Sanguinet & Staats and associate architect Roy Lane, for the Amicable Life Insurance Company at a cost of $755,000. It was completed in only one year."
Ofcourse, it has it's own relative here in Fort Worth.
All in all, Downtown Waco is a very nice place, and I feel like in a few years time it will be a buzzing little place. It's already on it's way and on all the right tracks.