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Old 07-12-2010, 06:24 AM
 
2,560 posts, read 5,268,449 times
Reputation: 764

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Quote:
Originally Posted by royal744 View Post
Many years ago during the '70s and before, San Antonio had a bit of an inferiority complex. It had been the premier city of Texas at one time and then lost that pole position to both Dallas and Houston. Even then, it always had the Alamo and it always had the Spanish Colonial Missions of San Antonio, the largest collection of 18th century Spanish Missions anywhere in the country, ranged along the San Antonio River.

San Antonio sort of slept until 1965-67 when a group of citizens banded together and had the audacious idea to start a world's fair called Hemisfair68. Taken alone, Hemisfair lost money (but not too much), but it started a downtown renaissance that has gone on for forty years and shows no sign of stopping.

It turns out that while Houston and Dallas were tearing down everything of any historical value, San Antonio and its pioneering Conservation Society were saving very nearly everything of value. Where the other cities today realize that they have erased the past, San Antonio oozes with history and reclaimed buildings in what is surely becoming the greatest downtown in the entire southern tier of the country.

Many cities in this country have rivers that run through them, but no city has the Riverwalk as San Antonio has its Riverwalk. Other cities have copied this Riverwalk but none measure up in the quality of experience. Few realize that one of the reasons the Riverwalk is so successful is that it is not strictly a commercial enterprise - it has quiet park-like areas as well as intensely developed areas, but verywhere it is lined with historic buildings. It has hardly beern a static development. Begun in the 1930s as a WPA project under then-mayor Maverick, the major portions of it were finished in the Horseshoe Bend area just before the US entered World War II.

The original design work had been done earlier by a young architect by the name of Henry H. Hugman and was fancifully entitled "The Shops of Aragon and Castile" (or something close to that), and envisioned Venice-like canals with gondolas. Hugman presented his design - which he had done for free and completely on his own initiative - to City Council where it was well received but where, for lack of funding, it fell on ears deafened by empty pockets. Still, Hugman never received the acclaim that he so richly deserved in the years following his effort, but everyone now knows that he was the starting pistol that keeps on firing.

It should be acknowledged at this point that Hugman would not have had a river to project his ideas onto had it not been for the San Antonio Conservation Society (SACS). SACS was most instrumental in keeping the San Antonio River from being paved over and used as a meandering, linear parking lot, which businesses downtown claimed that they needed. The slogan most often heard was, "Don't Kill the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg". Considering that at the time, before there was a Riverwalk, the San Antonio River wa little more than an occasionally swampy drainage ditch, this was Far-sighted with a capital "F". So thank you, Conservation Society!

One of the reasons the San Antonio Riverwalk is so successful, some have theorized, is that it is about as wide as the main walkways in your average shopping mall. This means that one can see across it and watch people's faces and just plain sit and 'people watch', a favorite activity along the Riverwalk.

As part of Hemisfair 68, a new channel was cut to east and a new lagoon built as part of the Performing Arts Center and the new San Antonio Convention Center which were part of the Hemisfair development, both examples of the immediate and long-lasting benefits of the world's fair. During the 90s, a new channel was dug from the convention center channel to form yet another lagoon and turning basin to the north, which basin formed the centerpiece of Rivercenter Mall. During the 80's, as part of the San Antonio Hyatt development along the Horsoe Bend, another passage was cut to form the base of the Hyatt's Atrium at river level. The cut goes through the Hyatt and forms a dramatic water garden that ascends by stages up to Alamo Plaza, thus linking for the first time The Alamo and the San Antonio River.

Today, in 2008, the City is extending the landscape an amenity-filled corridors to both the south (Mission Reach) and to the north (Museum Reach). The lesson: do what you do best, and keep on doing it. Developments along the northern reach are already sprouting up like mushrooms and this will not stop anytime soon.

San Antonio no longer has an inferiority complex. It knows it is a great city that is continuously improving. In other Texas cities, hotel rates drop on the weekends, while here in San Antonio they go through the roof on weekends. This is no accident. People just want to be here. And it is one of the best getaways there is.

Like many great urban efforts, this has been a long time coming, an overnight success that has taken the better part of a century so far. Mayors, City Managers, the San Antonio River Authority and numerous agency and oversight groups have had and continue to have a hand in guiding the River into the 21st century. Too many people to list deserve credit for this, but it all began with NOT paving it over and turning it into a drainage culvert.

Millions of people from all over the world come here to see this unique and outstanding city.

- Roy Lowey-Ball, AIA



Great article...Hugman needs some kind of shrine bearing his name in this city. We mostly owe it all to him. I think someone should spearhead a campaign to name the San Antonio International Airport, " San Antonio Hugman International Airport."
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:51 AM
 
656 posts, read 1,686,043 times
Reputation: 448
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Nice photos.

I'm surprised SA doesn't have it's own photos thread.

Would also be nice to see more from elsewhere besides the Riverwalk.
There is:

SAN ANTONIO - Official Photo Thread for San Antonio & Surrounding Communities!

It has just gotten buried.
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:27 AM
 
Location: the 50s and the 60s
834 posts, read 1,798,354 times
Reputation: 1542
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...quiz.....can anyone name the building under this flagpole??

..Downtown San Antonio......

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Old 03-08-2011, 10:48 AM
 
574 posts, read 1,163,634 times
Reputation: 400
Tower Life Building?
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:10 AM
 
Location: the 50s and the 60s
834 posts, read 1,798,354 times
Reputation: 1542
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreadlockd View Post
Tower Life Building?
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...bingo.. Smith Young Tower... Transit Tower..

snapped a couple hundred pix yesterday..
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:16 PM
 
574 posts, read 1,163,634 times
Reputation: 400
Great photos, what kind of camera do you use? The first picture's clarity is really nice, very crisp.

Is that ball moss?
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:09 PM
 
Location: the 50s and the 60s
834 posts, read 1,798,354 times
Reputation: 1542
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreadlockd View Post
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Great photos, what kind of camera do you use? The first picture's clarity is really nice, very crisp.

Is that ball moss?
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...ball moss - lichen - I don't know...

...Canon T2i... I don't know anything about photography
just point the lens and pull the trigger.

that image is sized down from the original file

it was snapped from two blocks south and west of the Tower..

below are larger details from the same file.

the flag is 488 feet above the street
the flagpole is 100 feet tall

snapped a couple hundred pix yesterday..
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:38 PM
 
Location: the 50s and the 60s
834 posts, read 1,798,354 times
Reputation: 1542
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snapped a couple hundred pix downtown today..

.................feathers and faces

here are a few.................
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Old 12-30-2013, 06:08 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,354 times
Reputation: 10
Default Riverwalk

Thanks for posting these pics of Riverwalk. I used to perform there every year in the '70's for KKYX. Anybody have information on the DJ, Bill R...can't spell his last name?
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Old 12-30-2013, 06:51 PM
 
2,721 posts, read 3,426,090 times
Reputation: 1536
Default Nice Pictures.

Damn nice camera. I can even discern some hairline cracks in the gargoyle head. You ought to fix that Gargoyle for the City, Mud. It might become a safety hazard ?
For a fee of course. If it ain't a very windy day.
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