The Contemporary Austin at the Jones Center
700 Congress, 512/453-5312
The structure at the corner of Seventh & Congress has been a part of Downtown since 1851, when it was young Austin's first three-story brick building. Over the next 140 years, it served locals as a drug store, a movie theatre, and a dress shop, but since the Texas Fine Art Association acquired it in 1995, this spot has been the city's premier showplace for vanguard visual art: the Jones Center for Contemporary Art. Renovations and expansions undertaken by TFAA, renamed Arthouse – including a multimillion-dollar makeover in 2010 by innovative NYC architectural firm Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis – created an open space with multiple galleries at street level, a massive main gallery on the second floor, and a 5,500-square-foot rooftop deck for film screenings and community events. The 2011 merger of Arthouse and the Austin Museum of Art resulted in the Contemporary Austin, which is dedicated to bringing world-class artists to exhibit and create work in the Texas capital.