Architecture & Lodging
1997 Readers Poll
1997 Critics Picks
Best Bed & Breakfast

Chalk up 100 years for this charming home away from grandma's home.

Best Downtown Building (New)

This architectural Goliath, housing not an Epcot adventure but an advertising firm, opened to more oohs and aahs than Wheel of Fortune.

GSD&M Advertising
828 W. Sixth

Best Historic Building/Local Restoration

Politicians may come and go, but nothing can squelch the city's burning passion for its one enduring political love. This year's redo of the south lawn and entrance was the final phase down the long road of renovation for our beloved Capitol. Our lovely rosy granite landmark is toured by over 20,000 visitors a month... and that doesn't count folks who don't take the official tour.

Texas State Capitol
1100 Congress

Best Hotel/Motel

Lavish and star-studded, both posh hotels are the ultimate in Austin extravagance: The Four Seasons reflects modern tastes while the Driskill offers classic elegance.

The Driskill Hotel
604 Brazos

Four Seasons Hotel
98 San Jacinto

photograph by Bruce Dye   Bruce Dye

Best Landscaping

More flowers than Laura Ashley. More beauty than Lady Bird could imagine. More votes than the Arboretum, last year's winner.

Zilker Botanical Garden
2220 Barton Springs Rd.

Best Mural/Graffiti

This was a tough one to call. El Jardin came out ahead in direct votes for the mural at this Sustainable Food Center facility, but there were so many general votes for the many murals of those wild public artists Skagan-Brakhage that we felt it only right to acknowledge them here. Musical faves Tower and Sound Exchange tied as runners up.

El Jardin Alegre
1801 E. Second


photograph by Bruce Dye   Bruce Dye

Best Neon

That classic home of Home Cooking, a flashing icon of down-home goodness, ousts Amy's, heretofore the undefeated champion heifers. The backroom at Threadgill's WHQ, designed by Bill Narum, with restorations and direction from Todd Sanders Signs, has taken the remains of many area advertising icons and saved them from the rubbish heap.

Best Outdoor Patio

This aptly named eatery on Barton Springs offers one of the most delightful patios around, with mandatory hour waits proving it is hardly the city's best-kept secret.

Best Public Artwork

Not a surprising showing from Austin's favorite landmark guitarman. What is pleasantly surprising however, is the close number of votes for Skagen-Brakhage's Blue Genie in South Austin, a newcomer to town and Critics Pick for "Best Neighborhood Guardian."

Town Lake

Best Public Restroom

We're not sure if this means the facilities or the Springs themselves. Perhaps it's best not to clarify.

Barton Springs Pool
2131 William Barton Dr.

David Brendan Hall

Best Romantic Spot

Holding hands, sitting on a limestone boulder with your love, and overlooking our city of light is one of the area's finest experiences. And when the cityscape wears thin, turn west and ponder the radio towers.

Mount Bonnell at Covert Park
3851 Mount Bonnell Dr.

1997 Intro
Readers: Arts & Culture

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