In a sign of the times, more than three months after Austin’s City Council voted to change the name of a city-owned building for a skyscraper, building owners are demanding that the building be renamed.
“We are not pleased that Austin City Hall is taking a title change,” said Kevin Miller, owner of The Bancroft Building, which is at the corner of Congress Avenue and West Lamar Street.
“We feel it’s disrespectful to the memory of this building.”
Miller and other building owners, including the building’s owner, Austin City Councilmember Keshia Johnson, have petitioned the city to rename the building.
They’re asking for the name to be changed from the Austin City Building, a former commercial office building with a plaza and a new hotel and retail space to The Banchard Building, another former office building that’s currently undergoing renovations.
“They are taking a very significant step to make it seem as if they have a monopoly on the name, which in reality is not the case,” said Miller.
The Bancrowt Building, built in 1891, was originally known as the Bancrot Building, and it is the tallest building in Austin.
The Banchettes Building, originally built in 1906, is the fourth-tallest building in the city, at 514 feet.
Austin’s Office Building, designed by Edward Bancrosky, is currently the tallest office in the world at 1,100 feet.
Johnson, who also owns the Austin Chronicle, said she was surprised by the council’s decision to change a name.
“It’s really sad to see the name change, and I’m sure they want to make sure that we know that it’s not going to happen again,” she said.
The Austin City Commission voted to rename The Banches Building, after an artist died in 2015.
The building’s current name is The Banes Building.