The Old Bakery and Emporium sits on Congress Avenue, just a block south of the Texas State Capitol Grounds. The structure was built in 1876 by Charles Lundberg and used as a bakery until 1936. Some remnants of Lundberg’s business still remain: an original spade (long paddle) hangs on the wall upstairs and a cast-iron oven can be seen at the back of the building.
The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department manages the building now. Much to Bill’s dismay, the Old Bakery and Emporium is not actually a bakery (although there is a food trailer, La Boite, next door which sells macarons). A consignment store on the ground floor features arts and crafts created by local citizens “age 50 or better.” A friendly PARD employee told me that the original funding to start this project in 1971 came from the Older Americans Act. A wide range of crafts are for sale, including paintings, jewelry, decorations and notecards.
A museum, gallery, and offices are upstairs. The museum isn’t big, but has some interesting displays about the Lundberg family, the bakery building, and life in Austin in the early 1900s.
Monthly art exhibitions are held in the gallery space, with opening receptions on the second Thursday of each month.