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2010 › Critics › Architecture & Lodging

Best New Roof Over Our Heads: 5604 Manor

Architects are fond of the principle, "First we shape our buildings, then our buildings shape us." That's as true of public places as it is of homesteads, and when we don't have welcoming places to come together, the spirit of community frays around the edges – of households, neighborhoods, and cities. The folks who founded 5604 Manor – Workers Defense Project, Third Coast Activist Resource Center, and Third Coast Workers for Cooperation – are specialists in collaboration, and they know that activist fish are only so alive as the water they swim in. The building houses WDP, its allies, and a meeting/performance space (complete with kitchen), and the grounds feature a family playscape and (eventually) a community garden. Indeed, 5604 embodies its reason for being: "Community is an experience, not just an idea."

5604 Manor
5604 Manor Rd., 512/786-1513,

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