The David Bowie Street sign has been taken down after the city decided to leave it up for a few extra days in honor of the late musician. The sign went up on January 13 at West 5th Street and Bowie Street.
It has garnered a lot of attention and support in the city of Austin and across the country. Despite that the sign was taken down and there’s a big push to make it permanent.
The original name of the street is in honor of James Bowie, a leader who played a role in the Texas revolution and died at the Alamo. But it’s another revolutionary man who is one of those responsible for the street name controversy.
Roland Swenson is one of the founders of South by Southwest. He says he and a friend from Wicked Signs decided to change the name as a tribute to the late rock and roll star David Bowie.
The attorney for the men say it was time to come forward before the city thought of filing charges.
Swenson believes it was a well-deserved move for the music icon.
"After I learned about his passing on (January 10) I was looking out the window at the Bowie Street sign and I said to myself that needs to say David Bowie Street," Swenson says.
Christiane Swenson started a petition to keep the David Bowie Street sign and says she knows many may feel it’s inappropriate.
"Because I'm disrespecting the legacy or something and they probably think that I'm some transplant but I am from Austin and I think that both are important. I took Texas history in middle school,” Christiane says. “Actually he (David Bowie) was a big influence on Stevie Ray Vaughan who is an incredible local musician."
The petition currently has nearly 5,500 signatures.
To get the sign officially changed, the petition must be signed by the representative of a governmental entity or by at least 50 percent of the people on the street. City council gets the final say.
You can sign the change.org petition yourself if you’d like here.
An attorney for those responsible says they technically didn't vandalize or take the sign down. They only placed a David Bowie decal on top of the existing one sign.