New York executive tapped to lead Waller Creek Conservancy

Jan 15, 2015
Austin Business Journal

Peter Mullan, who helped lead the critically acclaimed redevelopment of New York City's High Line park, has been tapped to lead the Waller Creek Conservancy, which is itself looking to 


dramatically reshape Waller Creek into a lush greenbelt park running through central Austin


Mayor Steve Adler, speaking at a Wednesday media conference at Austin City Hall, praised the pick, saying Mullan "has the vision and skills needed to bring the Waller Creek project to 


fruition"


The Waller Creek project aims to lay down a series of hiker-biker paths connecting two existing parks, Palm Park and Waterloo Park, and to construct three additional parks along the creek


A big part of that project is the construction of the Waller Creek tunnel, which will help manage floodwaters and take close to 30 downtown acres out of the floodplain. The tunnel is 


expected to be finished this year. Follow this link to see proposed renderings of the project


"It's the most exciting project in the country today," said Mullan during his introduction. He pledged that the Waller Creek project would be unique from anything else in America. "It's not 


going to be the Riverwalk of San Antonio. It's not going to be the High Line"


An architect by trade, Mullan's experience with urban parks dates back to 2004, when he first started working with Friends of the High Line in New York City. The project, converting a 


roughly 1.5 mile section of abandoned elevated railway tracks in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood into an urban oasis, was controversial at times, with some opposed to it for fear it would 


spur gentrification, and others who wanted the railway to be removed entirely


Mullan eventually became executive vice president of Friends of the High Line, and was in charge of overseeing the planning, design and construction of the project. The park, which opened 


in 2009 and now sees more than 4.5 million visitors annually, has been credited with revitalizing the neighborhood it snakes through


Prior to his work with Friends of the High Line, Mullan – a Princeton graduate – worked as a designer at Polshek Partnership Architects. His design credits include projects at the Brooklyn 


Museum, the Yale University Art Gallery and the University of North Carolina Arts Common


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