Standing for Pine Street Station

As Pine Street vacates the station, a Capital Metro ultimatum looms

The Friends of Pine Street Station plan to lend support to Reji Thomas and Pine Street Station by attending the October Public Hearing of the Historic Landmark Commission on Monday, October 27, 7pm at One Texas Center, 505 Barton Springs Rd. Meanwhile Capital Metro is giving Thomas until Sunday to get out.

Reji Thomas, owner and proprietor of Pine Street Station was served an eviction notice to vacate the building she owns at 1101 E. Fifth Street which sits atop Capital Metro land (photo by Jenna VonHofe)

Things got tense earlier today for local artist Thomas while working at Pine Street Station, prepping the move to vacate her studio/event center on East Fifth Street. She received a call from a Capital Metro representative, informing her that the area's transit authority would change the locks, effectively locking out of her own building, tomorrow. Thomas owns the building. CapMet owns the land.

We learned from Captial Metro communications rep John Julitz that they are giving Thomas until Sunday to complete the move of all personal items out of the 10,000+ square-foot historic structure. The items include "many valuable pieces of art, tools of her trade, and personal possessions still in her building," according to Pamela Booton, Pine Street Station consultant and spokesperson.

Thomas has owned the building and occupied the facility since 1979.

Last week, we posted a photo gallery by photographer Jenna VonHofe telling the story of Thomas encountering the eviction notice. Negotiations between Thomas and Capital Metro regarding the property at 1101 E. Fifth – known for the past five years as Pine Street Station, and before that, as Graphic Glass Studio – have been going on since the beginning of this year.

Capital Metro intends to develop the property with Endeavor, the group behind north Austin's Domain. After an eviction hearing on October 1, Thomas was told she had five days to vacate the premises. After filing an appeal she thought successful for a 30-day stay, as she and her staff continued the moving process, they were greeted last week with an eviction notice on the door.

Long leaf pine covers most of the over 10,000 square feet of Pine Street Station floors (photo by Jenna VonHofe)
Thomas will appear before the Historic Landmark Commission at Monday's hearing. The first records of what were an old rail yard officially date to 1925, and the building retains a number of historic building elements – original long-leaf pine, blacksmith-hammered metalwork, etc. – of the era.

Original fixtures still sit in Pine Street Station (photo by Jenna VonHofe)

Interested supporters are asked to contact Pamela Booton at [email protected] or 512/468-7597.

Look for continuing coverage as the story (and property) develops.

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More Pine Street Station
Reji Thomas Has Left the Building
Reji Thomas Has Left the Building
Historic Designation Still Pending for Pine Street Station

Kate X Messer, Nov. 7, 2014

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Reji Thomas, Pine Street Station, Endeavor, Capital Metro, Historic Preservattion Board, Meeting, Friends of Pine Street Station

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