Republic Square

Telling the story of one of Austin’s oldest public spaces

One of four public squares put on the civic map in 1888, Republic Square is a city-block-sized oasis in downtown Austin. In 2015, a significant landscape and architectural renovation presented an opportunity to showcase that history and mark its position as the heart of a dynamic and growing modern city.


  • Signage and Wayfinding
  • Donor Recognition

Design requirements for the park’s signage program included a mandate that signage could not block views through the park's relatively small space while also presenting a significant amount of bilingual content — wayfinding, rules and hours, donor recognition, and historical narrative and photography.

The elegant vertical forms were designed with a square window at varying heights for adults, children, and those in wheelchairs. These bright green totems were located and oriented so that the windows framed key views into and through the park. Side panels communicate directional information with park rules via symbols with minimal text. Faces present the history of the land and its key user groups and champions.

The program includes companion forms at various scales. A bright rosa-colored totem recognizes the park’s signature sculpture. Turquoise versions mount on the limestone hardscape near a grove of 300+ year old live oak trees where piers and footings were not welcome. The color palette is decidedly bright, a reflection of the park’s role in the city’s Mexican American history.

Key Collaborators: Capital Architectural Signs