Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Bowie Street, Austin, Texas

A Bowie Street sign in downtown Austin was mysteriously replaced with a David Bowie Street sign on Wednesday January 13, 2016. The street is actually named for Alamo defender James Bowie. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN.

In keeping with the theme about street names, monuments, statues, and other forms of public acknowledgement of great people, and how the definition of who or what is great is very much dependent on your perspective, Bowie Street in Austin, named for a historical figure important to Texan Independence, was "renamed" as a kind of street art, by people who created a decal to modify the existing sign to honor musician David Bowie, after the announcement of his death. See
"SXSW founder and sign maker: We changed “David Bowie” street sign," from the Austin American-Statesman.

The music industry is a key component of the city's cultural identity and creative economy, as mentioned in the previous post about David Bowie and music in the city a couple days ago, so this is an interesting and fun way to acknowledge David Bowie, albeit without sanction by the city and much faster than could occur through formal channels.

Street sign mosaic, Indianapolis, signs honoring automobile and motorcycle racersBut it does remind me of how Indianapolis, associated with Motor Sports because of the Indianapolis Speedway and the annual Indy 500 event, has an honorary street renaming program focused on acknowledgement of racing car drivers.

This could be a spur for Austin to do something similar around music.

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At 5:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good site.

At 8:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW the name is pronounced BOO- EE
and not BOW- EE as the celebrity does it- he is wrong- I am related to the family of the real Jim Bowie and BOO-EE is the ancient and proper way to say this name.

At 12:38 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

yep, reading vs. pronounciation.

The name of Bowie, Maryland is pronounced as you say, just as here Chevy Chase, Maryland is pronounced Chehvee, not like the nickname for the Chevrolet.

At 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI from WCP last week--well worth the visit:



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