Formosa, Elisabet Ney Museum, Austin, TX

For City of Austin, Parks & Recreation Department

Heritage Landscapes worked with the City of Austin Parks & Recreation Department and Formosa staff for three project phases to address the designed and native landscape Formosa, the early 20th century studio and residence of famed artist, sculptor and transcendentalist Elisabet Ney. We carried out two phases of landscape planning and completed the entry and Studio landscape restoration to:

  • Document Formosa property origins and Ney's native landscape concepts
  • Document Ney’s 1907 rustic and native landscape along Waller Creek Pond
  • Analyze continuity and change through time and assess landscape significance
  • Provide detailed illustrations to visualize landscape restoration
  • Produce construction documents and specifications for main entry landscape restoration
  • Guide ecological restoration of the remnant native Texas prairie

Planning work was foundational to understanding landscape aesthetic Ney’s Our intervention in Ney’s landscape seeks to align all work to federal preservation guidance, and reestablish key features, while accommodating public uses and interpretation.  Construction documents and specifications addressed access to the studio building, removal of invasive species and contemporary vegetation, prairie restoration, and restore Ney’s vegetable garden and post and wire fence.  The access ramp design avoided handrails to retain the open facade without vertical interruption.  Landscape restoration recommendations for the entry and studio building, including handicapped access, were completed in 2010, which received a VT ASLA design award. School groups engage with nature and art at Formosa. Returning the landscape to reflect Ney’s time and significance will progress incrementally based on the master plan.


Studio and Entry Landscape RestorationHeritage Landscapes with WJE building waterproofing and utilities; Formosa Comprehensive Master Plan parallel to Volz & Associates; Formosa CLR Part 1, Heritage Landscapes.


We appreciate your dedication to the landscape restoration of Formosa and for your generous support of our commitment to its completion. Your most impressive presentation was a significant turning point in the local public discussion. Thank you very muchfor the native Texas landscape of Elisabet Ney that brings us and many others joy.