It’s All About Your Perspective

Vanishing Austin_Overtowering Sandy's by Jann Alexander © 2013
Overtowering Sandy’s by Jann Alexander © 2013

In Austin, Texas, we take our local landmarks seriously, and our city ordinances decree that new high-rise condos must not exceed the height of our beloved homegrown businesses.

Take Sandy’s Frozen Custard, for example. Sandy’s is about as beloved and homegrown as it gets, and it occupies a prime dab of real estate just over the South First Street Bridge on Barton Springs Road.

Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 12.15.31 PMWhen some new high-rise development threatened to overtower Sandy’s, along with its shady outdoor picnic tables and its walkup window, our concerned citizens responded creatively: we ran a river through it. As in, the Colorado River really runs right between that new tower just north of the river, and that generations-old local icon (circa 1947 and still serving tasty burgers and root beer floats).

Thus another local institution is saved from our cranked-up downtown building spree, by a simple trick of perspective. 

Forced or not, it’s always about your perspective. For more Austin perspectives visit

Endangered Species of Austin, poster by Jann Alexander © 2009
Endangered Species of Austin poster

About my Vanishing Austin series: While many Austin landmarks are lost, many are survivors still. Admire them all in a slideshow, HERE. Prints start at $35.

You can marvel at what’s lost and what’s survived in my Endangered Species of Austin poster, featuring 16 Austin icons, and sized at a handsomely large 24 x 36,” available for $25, HERE.

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