AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 14, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Waller Creek Conservancy, joined by Austin Mayor Steve Adler, announced at a press conference today at Austin City Hall that Peter Mullan has been named chief executive officer of the organization. Until recently, Mullan was executive vice president of Friends of the High Line in New York City. Mullan was recruited through an extensive nationwide search.
"The addition of Peter Mullan builds upon the remarkable progress of the Waller Creek Conservancy," Austin Mayor Steve Adler said. "Peter has the vision and skills needed to bring the Waller Creek project to fruition. His extensive experience with the very successful High Line project in New York will be invaluable to the future of the Waller Creek redevelopment in Austin."
"I am positively thrilled to play a leadership role in the redevelopment of Waller Creek," Mullan said. "As the only urban creek renewal project of its type and scope in the U.S., there is tremendous interest in this project nationally and internationally."
The Conservancy and the City of Austin, through an innovative public-private partnership, are leading the effort to transform and sustain Austin's Waller Creek. The redevelopment encompasses 28 acres of the area surrounding Waller Creek in downtown Austin.
"The vision for Waller Creek is built upon the notion that our fellow citizens care about green space and great public spaces," Tom Meredith, chairman of the board of directors of the Waller Creek Conservancy, said. "The goal is to create an extraordinary urban place that connects, surprises, and inspires all of us."
Plans for transforming Waller Creek by the design team of Michael Van Valkenburgh and Thomas Phifer and Partners feature a chain of five continuous parks from Waterloo Park to Lady Bird Lake.
Two existing parks, Palm Park and Waterloo Park, will be completely transformed, and three new parks will be developed. The intake structure being constructed by the City of Austin at Waterloo Park is on track for completion; the tunnel and other drainage features are virtually complete.
"The redevelopment of Waller Creek has the potential to better our city through economic growth, community interaction, environmental conservation and the connectivity that will occur between East and West Austin," Melba Whatley, co-founder and president of the Waller Creek Conservancy, said. "In order to accomplish such a grand vision, we need help from all corners of the community."
Peter Mullan was with Friends of the High Line since 2004, most recently serving as executive vice president. Friends of the High Line is the not-for-profit organization responsible for envisioning, creating and maintaining the High Line, in partnership with the City of New York, and for engaging the local community through education and programming. Since its opening in 2009, the High Line has become one of New York City's most popular and beloved public spaces, welcoming more than 4.5 million visitors per year. The High Line has also been a catalyst for the economic development of the surrounding neighborhood and has become a global model for innovative urban planning, adaptive re-use, and public open space design. Mullan was responsible for all aspects of the physical development of the High Line, including planning, design, construction, and collaboration with the City of New York. He also played a central role in the policy and advocacy efforts for the project on behalf of the organization.
An architect by training, from 1997 to 2004, Mullan was a designer at Polshek Partnership Architects (now Ennead Architects), where he led a series of master planning and design projects for universities and cultural institutions, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Yale University Art Gallery and Arts Area Master Plan, and the University of North Carolina Arts Common. He is a graduate of Princeton University and the Yale School of Architecture, where he was the recipient of the Alpha Rho Chi medal for Leadership.
For more information on the Waller Creek Conservancy or to become a Friend of Waller Creek, please visit www.wallercreek.org.
About the Waller Creek Conservancy
Leveraging philanthropic leadership with local government, the Waller Creek Conservancy is a community partner to the City of Austin through a public-private partnership. The Conservancy transforms and sustains Austin's Waller Creek, creating an extraordinary urban place that connects, surprises, and inspires all of us. The Waller Creek Conservancy, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, was founded in 2010 by Tom Meredith, former chief financial officer of Dell, Inc.; Melba Whatley, who runs MDW Interests, a private oil, gas, and real estate investment firm, and Melanie Barnes, a philanthropist and lawyer. For more information about the Waller Creek Conservancy, please visit www.wallercreek.org.
SOURCE Waller Creek Conservancy