The building on the east side is designed to provide a glimpse into the interior of the radio station.


It’s hard to express how devastating the 2018 package bombs were for the people of Austin. The terrorist act claimed the lives of a young father and a promising teenage musician, injured four others, and forced us to confront (at least momentarily) racial divisions within the city.

Eighteen months later, those wounds are still raw, those questions unanswered, and the promise of those two lives – Anthony Stephan House and Draylen Mason – has not been fulfilled.

To honor Mason, a 17-year-old bassist who plans to attend the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Austin’s classical music station KMFA establishes Draylen Mason Music Studioa 135-seat theater and recording studio on the east side as part of its sleek new headquarters.

The Mason Music Studio will be the anchor of the station’s new building, designed to be “a state-of-the-art classic media center and community gathering space,” a statement noted. Inside, Ausitinites can enjoy live broadcasts and concerts and participate in community and educational programs.

“This performance space is a gift to Austin, a place where residents can connect, gather and discover,” Mayor Steve Adler said in a statement. “Named in honor of a brilliant musician-composer who died too soon, the studio will be a powerful and enduring reflection on both his legacy and how our city is shaped by artistry.

Lynne Dobson and Greg Woolridge, who recently donated $1 million to the Pease Park Conservancy, made the donation to KMFA in Mason’s honor and named the new theater after him. Although the specific amount was not disclosed, a statement called the sum “generous”.

In addition to the new studio, the KMFA headquarters will also house recording studios, viewing areas and the station’s impressive classical music library.

The new $10 million building, designed by Sixthriver and STG Design, will be located in a new development just east of I-35 on the north shore of Lady Bird Lake. As a non-profit, listener-supported station, KMFA looks to the community to raise a total of $13.5 million for construction costs and long-term maintenance of the building.

KMFA will vacate its current building on North Lamar Boulevard to become the anchor tenant of The Hatchery, a new 17.5 landmark development on Nash Hernandez Sr. Road between Waller and Comal streets. The mixed-use development is currently the site of the Rebekah Baines Johnson Center, a community for low-income seniors, and will provide 23,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and 800 new multi-family units. According to its website, The Hatchery is scheduled to open the first phase in June 2020.

Meanwhile, the station’s fundraising campaign, titled “Dear Music, We Love You,” has reached 52% of its goal as of press time. To donate to KMFA or learn more, go to here.

Rendered courtesy of STG Design

The building on the east side is designed to provide a glimpse into the interior of the radio station.


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