Willie Nelson to be honored in Austin

(Note:  this is not the Austin CAST sculpture; this is one created by Beth Schoen www.bethschoen.com)

Austin city council members are proposing renaming 2nd Street after country music star Willie Nelson. The city is expected to unveil a downtown statue of Nelson along with the announcement.

Thursday night, Capital Area Statues, Inc. and Mayor Leffingwell will unveil a bronze statue of Willie Nelson. The statue is just part of the city’s overall plans to honor the Texas music legeng. The statue to be installed on West Second Street near the entrance to the new KLRU’s Austin City Limits Studio.

The unveiling will take place at 6:30 PM during a private reception at the studio’s current location on the U.T. campus.

On Thursday, May 27th, the Austin City Council will consider a proposal to rename Second Street between Trinity and San Antonio the honorary name of Willie Nelson Boulevard. The honorary naming proposal is being co-sponsored by Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez and Council Member Laura Morrison.

“These tributes reflect the deep love and appreciation that so many in Austin have for Willie Nelson and his music, and are intended to honor Willie’s singular influence in making Austin the live music capital of the world,” Mayor Leffingwell said in a statement . “CAST’s generous contribution of the Willie Nelson statue to the city will give Austin another iconic sculpture to enjoy, and the honorary naming of Second Street will be a fitting tribute for someone who looms as large as Willie Nelson does in the cultural life and history of our community.”

Willie Nelson is a native of Abbott, Texas but has been a resident of the Austin area for nearly 40 years. He’s regarded around the world as one of America’s greatest singer-songwriters. The recipient of ten Grammy awards, Nelson has sold more than 50 million records in his career. He was the featured performer on the first episode of Austin City Limits, filmed in October of 1974.

CAST, a non-profit organization devoted to celebrating history and culture of Texas through sculpture works, has donated two other statues to the citizens of Austin. Angelina Eberly, a famed innkeeper, was donated in 2004 and resides on Congress Avenue. The other is the Philosopher’s Rocks at the entrance of Barton Springs.

Willie Nelson Boulevard street signs would be installed this summer at each intersection between the Austin Convention Center (Trinity Street) and the former site of the Green Water Treatment Plant (San Antonio Street). The cost to the city of installing the honorary street signs is expected to be less than $2,000. The existing signage and formal name of Second Street would remain unchanged, and residents and businesses on Second Street – including Austin City Hall – would not need to change addresses, but would be able to receive mail at the Willie Nelson Boulevard address.

Leave a Reply