Multiple outlets are reporting that he HP Soda Fountain at the Corner of Knox and Travis is set to close on Sept. 9 after over 100 years in the same location. We have heard that the Weir’s space is being redeveloped into a high-rise which will include a new Weir’s store and many floors of office space. In the initial press release and renderings, we were led to believe that the soda fountain space would be preserved in its current format, carved out of the new building’s footprint. It will be very interesting to see what happens here. If you grew up going to the old fountain as many of us did, this is a very sad development. It is my personal fear that the original soda fountain building will have to be demolished as a part of the greater demolition and construction process. If this were to happen, I believe it will be very difficult to re-open in a newly constructed place.
It’s hard to see our beloved Knox street institutions close, but I suppose we should be grateful that they have lasted this long. All things change and progress continues, but the loss of our soda fountain (and possibly the building) will be a true casualty of progress. These combined losses of Knox Street institutions will only further the erosion to the Knox neighborhood identity. I loathe the idea that we are becoming a neighborhood of cardboard apartments and retail spaces with zero architectural identity or permanent residents.