Austin, Texas is known for its weirdness, whether it be its unique residents or its splash of color and art found in the city’s architecture. The city is always striving to create beauty in the ordinary, and Sparky Pocket Park is an example of that. This tiny park was created on a site that was once set for demolition. Now, Sparky Pocket Park is the place to go for a picnic or simply an Instagram photo. If you’re looking for something unusual yet beautiful in Austin, then a visit to Sparky Pocket Park is a must.
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This pocket park was actually installed on a site of a former North Austin Electric Substation, hence the name “Sparky.” This 1930s substation housed in an Art Deco municipal building has a new life as a park, preserving the history of this unique site. Now there is also a new substation on the grounds of the park too. To obscure the new machinery, the artist Berthold Haas was commissioned to turn the park into a whimsical place instead of the machine eyesore it was.
Now the main attraction to this park is the Grotto wall created by Haas. This wall, made of karst stones, also includes a wide variety of items from seashells to petrified wood to even marbles and antique glassware. Most of the materials used to create this one-of-a-kind wall were found locally too, boasting a sense of Austin in the art.
Not only enjoy the Grotto wall but also the numerous trees surrounding this pocket park. Cedar elms, Yaupon holly trees, Mexican plum trees and Crape myrtles all thrive in this little park, providing the park with a much-needed natural element.
From children to the elderly, all ages will find a visit to Spark Park to be both peaceful and stimulating. Find something new stuck in the Grotto walls, enjoy a picnic below the shady trees or even view the exhibition space inside the 1930s substation. Sparky Pocket Park upholds Austin’s weird vibe while also preserving its history.
Sparky Pocket Park Information:
Address: 3701 Grooms St, Austin, TX 78705
Phone Number: (512) 974-6797