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A Mega makeover for a familiar downtown spot

Site of new Austin stop retains original style

1940s one-story gas station with original green glazed brick around bottom, painted white on top with blue and yellow accents
Downtown Austin Megabus station

Megabus, the private transportation company that offers budget-conscious express service among Austin, Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio—and to more than 120 cities across the country recently open a station at 1500 San Jacinto in downtown Austin.

Although it missed its projected Labor Day opening date, the renovation it did for the new station was worth the wait.

Rather than demolish the 1940s gas station that was still intact on the site, at the corner of 15th street near the Capitol—the company hired Derrington Building Studio to remodel it. According to a recent feature on internationally focused website Designboom, “the goal was to revive the structure by preserving the original character and highlighting its distinct features.”

Designers did an impressive job of keeping the basic structure and important details intact. They completely revamped and furnished the interior (Megabus’ former central Austin “station”—really just a parking lot—didn’t have an interior), uncovering big windows along one wall and bringing more emphasis to the industrial ceiling.

On the exterior, designers replaced the red and yellow color scheme with a bright white and blue one, with yellow accents, in order to unify the building visually and increase the visibility of the active transportation center.

Megabus had been loading and unloading passengers in a parking lot at 2002 Whitis Avenue, near the University of Texas campus, since 2012. It moved its operations to be closer to downtown.

Residents in an apartment complex near the new site opposed the change early in the planning process, but the company prevailed at City Council, agreeing to abide by residence-friendly rules.

Derrington Building Studio restores 1940s gas station to bus stop in Austin, Texas [designboom]