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Find out what's happening in the blog. Below is a list of blog items.

Oct 25

How “Art in the Heart” Marked the Beginning of the Buda Art Movement

Posted to Adventure Friday by Gabriela Moore

Three graffiti artists at Tavern on Main

Now, the title may say “beginning,” but the real truth behind that statement is that art was always here, just hiding in the rich history of Buda’s culture—a story that economic changes influence in the creative world. If you talk to anyone who grew up in Buda in the 80’s, Downtown Buda was a haven for anyone with a creative bone and was once lined with art studios and craft makers alike.

Steve Harris, a second generation artist to call Buda home,  was born in the 70’s to a professional potter who owned a studio along-side the many artists in downtown at that time. He thinks back on life in the “good old days” as a child running around downtown, generally creating mischief, but always admiring the people behind the art.

“I remember the unique sense of unity between the artists and craftsmen,” Steve says. “Every time one would take a break from their work they would walk down Main Street and stop in to visit the neighboring studios to share ideas, discuss upcoming art shows and swap bad jokes.”

It’s this exact history that the #budaartmovement we saw at Art in the Heart tips its hat to. The explosion in population across the Austin area in the 90’s brought in more shops and dining into downtown spurring an inevitable rise in property taxes and slowly pushing the artist to seek lower rent. But with the Buda Main Street Program starting the initiative to create an arts district in downtown, and the city-wide support of the Inspired Minds Art Center opening in downtown, we are seeing a resurgence of this history come to life.

“Buda is once again becoming a prosperous location for both the established and emerging artist. This is showcased by the local businesses offering there space to display artwork, companies such as Two Wheel Brewing sponsoring art events and the highly reputable Assemblage Contemporary Craftsman Gallery calling Downtown Buda home,” Steve said. “The efforts put forth by Sinead and Susan of Inspired Minds Art Center has created an opportunity for local artists to network and support each other much like the early days that I remember.”

Today we look to a future that not only showcases the arts, but gives it a place to grow and call home. With its resurgence, arts and culture has become its own economic influence that brings tourism and invites visitors to not only explore but also contribute to our community. And I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty thrilled to know that no matter what changes a community faces—arts and culture have the power to push through and bring people together as it has for millennia.

As Marcela Kourkova from Fine Art Buda says, “[Art] connects community and teaches us to imagine and dream.” The #budaartmovement may be just beginning in 2019, but it has a strong history and a lot of soul deep in its bones. Take a look. 

May 16

BBQ Mash Ups: Food Truck Edition

Posted to Happy Trails by Gabriela Moore

If there is something that food trucks do well, it’s the modern spin on classic cuisine. Enter: barbeque mash ups--taking two of your favorite things and putting them together for something undeniably delicious.  This National BBQ Day, come with us as we spot the food trucks around town that prove bbq doesn’t have to stand alone.

Brisket Baked Potato from Louie's

1. We all love a baked potato, but mash it with brisket from Louie’s Craft BBQ in Downtown Buda and you have yourself a Loaded Brisket Baked Potato that comfort food in Texas is made of. This buttery, cheesy, burnt-endy chunk of pure comfort is our go to meal when we just want all the things that make us feel at home. Pair it with the spicy green salsa, wash it down with a Big Red and you’ll never look back. 

BBQ Wings from Bat Wings

2. Move over brisket, cauliflower has something to say and you need to hear it. Say hello to this bite-sized delight that is the Big Daddy Cauliflower Wings with their signature spicy barbeque sauce from Bat Wings Co. in Jordan and Cambria’s Rail Switch. Delicious to even meat eaters, this vegetarian take on chicken wings is perfectly crisp and full of flavor. Add a dunk of their homemade sweet and spicy barbeque sauce for that mash up of wings meets barbeque we are living for. 

Brisket Queso from Shugabees 3. Top three foods in Texas: and go! If you just enthusiastically yelled at your screen chili peppers, queso and brisket then we are on the same page. I’d like to introduce you to an off menu concoction from Shugabees Texas BBQ that includes all three. Start by ordering their hatch green chili queso and scoop in some of their chopped brisket for a *chefs kiss of an experience. The slight spice from the chilis mixed with the sweet bbq sauce from the chopped brisket will find you at the end of the queso bowl asking for more.  

Whichever mash up you choose to enjoy this National BBQ Day, we promise you this: you will not be disappointed. No one is judging you if you try all three. Besides, every day is National BBQ Day with Visit Buda, Tx. Share your experience on social using the tag #budafuleats.

May 23

Welcoming Visitors Once Again: A Short History of the Stagecoach House

Posted to Historic Preservation in Buda by Gabriela Moore

When you walk through the double doors of the Historic Stagecoach House in Buda, TX surrounded by elements of decades leaving their mark, you step into an iconic structure of the 19th century. The now-enclosed dogtrot that serves as the foyer between two large rooms, was once a wide open breezeway looking out onto Onion Creek and the old stagecoach bridge. Your feet would sink into the earth below and the ceiling above revealed the strong cedar rafters that hold the roof above you. For a few short years the wind would kick up dirt in a whirlwind through the dogtrot until the 1880’s, when the Post Office would inevitably outgrow the tiny limestone building behind the cabin and T. E. McElroy would transform the stop into the home we see today.

View of Stagecoach House from the Main Street Side walk
Let’s go back a couple 100 years to post Civil war era America. Floods of people were moving to Texas, pushing more families into Hays County as Austin began to overflow (not at all familiar, right?) As a sign of the time period, access to mail was a key component to a thriving community. Post offices and stagecoach stops began popping up into Hays County in close proximity to the major highway of the time, Old San Antonio Road. Onion Creek held all the desired amenities for these stops--water to tend to the horses from a long journey, easy access to the major highway and safety from the treacherous country roads of the time known to be prone to flooding and rocky terrain. By the 1870’s, the county population had nearly doubled from the previous census and on April 3, 1875, the Onion Creek Post Office and Stagecoach House broke ground and George W. Waters was appointed as postmaster.

The post office would see a few short years of delivering mail, servicing horses, and hosting overnight travelers until the International and Great Northern Railroad would lay iron from Austin to San Antonio and Cornelia A. Trimble would sell her first commercial block of land to postmaster J.A. Chandler in 1881. Just a quarter mile from the post office and platted along the new railroad, Trimble would name her town Du Pre. It wouldn’t be until the around 1885 when Chandler moved the post office into town that the name would inevitably change to Buda at the command of the U.S. Postal Service after noting there is already a town named Du Pre in east Texas.

Newly vacated and surrounded by 234 acres of land, T.E. McElroy purchased the Onion Creek Post Office and Stagecoach House in the mid-1880’s. Within a few short years he View of heritage oak trees in front of the Stagecoach House in Historic Stagecoach Parkadded over 1,000 acres of land to his name and turned the old post office and stage stop into a ranching estate where he raised livestock and cultivated the fertile soil. With wealth and ambition on his side, McElroy transformed the rugged cabin into the elegant home we see today by enclosing the dogtrot, expanding the home and adding the luxuries one would expect in a home like flooring and a ceiling. Remnants of an old porch under what is now the back room point to a re-orientation of the front porch to look towards Loop 4 (Main Street) heading into a now thriving Buda and away from the abandoned stagecoach bridge.

Throughout the years as pieces of land were sold off, the home would continue to bare the markings of each decade with hand-hewn joists in the attic revealing its pre-railroad construction and french doors showcasing the the trend of the 1920’s when European styles reverberated throughout American homes. Though the home was renovated back to its circa 1920s appearance, one lasting mark of those who lived there in later years still exists in the west room. On the fireplace mantle you will find it to be painted blue with gold stars on either side and a gold arch enveloping the opening. It was dated by historians as a 1970’s style work-- a time when the house was rented out by owners Victor and Joe Stanzel to a group of college students in the artist community.

In 1998 the Stanzel Brothers Trust would transfer the 51 acre property to the City of Buda and the Stagecoach House would once again welcome travelers from far and wide as the Visitor Center for the thriving town of Buda.