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San Antonio, Then and Now (Image heavy)

Building the Hilton Palacio Del Rio (built by an Ag, btw)

in summary:

[This message has been edited by ffco (edited 4/15/2011 12:39p).]
Building the Hilton Palacio Del Rio (built by an Ag, btw)
Yep, went to high school and later became the roommate in college with the engineer's son.

[This message has been edited by p_bubel (edited 4/15/2011 3:07p).]
I have heard from construction folks that that hotel job by Zachry was a first of its kind in using precast concrete. (or something like that)
You heard correct...
The Hilton Palacio de Rio was built in 1967 as part of the HemisFair downtown build up. The foundation and elevator shafts were built and the room modules were trucked from the Zachry yard over at IH35/SW Military and hoisted up to be stacked just like shoe boxes. Each room was completely finished out, even the toilet paper in the restrooms and pictures on the walls. The cranes had fans on them to help steady the lift while in progress. The utilities were hooked up and it all came together quite fast and ontime/onbudget. One of the few HemisFair construction activities to accomplish that feat.

Modular construction was a pet project of Mr. H.B.(Pat) Zachry '22 and while he was alive that Division of the company tried to do more types of projects. Never really caught on and was never a 'profit center' for the company. After he passed away in 1984 the production line/yard was quietly shutdown and sold off, to become part of the Zachry company legend.

The Palacio de Rio was the first new downtown hotel built going back to before WWII and is truly a 'one of kind' part of San Antonio's downtown legacy and definitely a historic treasure.

[This message has been edited by WBBQ74 (edited 4/16/2011 12:07p).]
Next time you take a barge ride around the Riverwalk horseshoe, note the concrete reinforcements on the undersides of the various bridges. The streets that carried street cars have extra concrete under the centers of the bridges.

Gig 'em Aggies!

Good Job! If you haven't already looked, the Institute of Texan Cultures has a pretty extensive online archive of old SA photos and places.
OP, have you ever visited this website? Interesting to compare historic aerial views.
No, I haven't thanks for the link.

the Institute of Texan Cultures has a pretty extensive online archive of old SA photos and places.

That's where I got most of the images from. It's an amazing online source.
From that website:

My high school is that "L" shaped building near the middle. I had no idea the building was so close to the river before the channel was moved and straightened.


If you don't mind my sharing...

You mentioned the Sanborn Fire Insurance maps? Are those the ones hosted on the U of Texas website? I really like that site's collection of Texas topographic maps... gives you a good idea of road construction/housing addition progress.

Another favorite for old maps is:
How many CCHS graduates are there here? I'm '83. I took Via Via each day and walked up to Broadway to catch the #11 McArthur Terrace. I think Cavender dealership is still on that corner

Great work. Miss San Antonio and all of those limestone buildings. But I will be back...

For S.A. history buffs, E-N now has a history blog.
Comment on some of the threads and let 'em know you appreciate the work.

[This message has been edited by Speedbird087 (edited 4/22/2011 8:00p).]
BTW, if you can find this book, I highly recommend.

Also, check out this illustrator's pen and ink sketches of San Antonio. He has over 100 San Antonio sketches. All magnificent.
Is that the Leaning Tower of Tower Life?
Cool thread. I have an aerial map from September of 1964 hanging up in the garage. Outside of 410 you can see most of the major roads, but there's not much in between. Churchill is still under construction and out in the sticks.
Can someone find/post pics of old San Antonio neighborhoods when they were first built? I would love to see street views of homes in the SE side and areas like Woodlawn. There are a lot of run-down homes with some unique features that must have been really nice back in the day.
This thread got me searching for a street view of my great-grandparents' old house on W. Summit. We drove past it a few years ago, and there are some really cool houses in the neighborhood.

[This message has been edited by Face (edited 4/27/2011 2:36p).]
I do like that neighborhood Face.

AggieDarlin, I'm currently looking for older neighborhood development shots, so if I find any I'll post 'em.

Brackenridge sky ride's gondolas among items up for auction

[This message has been edited by p_bubel (edited 5/5/2011 10:11a).]
Times have changed.

In 1953, Hwy 90 was known as "Jefferson Davis Highway"...
And the old Jefferson Davis Middle School, in the middle of SA's eastside, is now SJ Davis.

SJ Davis, by the way, is Stonewall Jackson Davis, better know as “Stonie” was born in Tyler, Texas in 1908, and received his BS degree in 1930 from Bishop College, his MBA degree in 1946 from University of Texas in Austin. His more than 30 years of service as a Black leader in San Antonio began in 1947 as a member of the St. Phillips’s College faculty. While there he served as Chairman of the business Department, 1947; Registration Manager, 1952; and Business Manager in 1955. He was elected to the Bexar-County Chapter of the American Red Cross board of Directors in 1967 and continued his service in various capacities over the years, including being named as the first Black chairperson of the Board of Directors in 1973.
I heard they are going to change the name of Robert E Lee HS to Bruce Lee HS.
Sadly they probably will change Durango Blvd to Cesar Chavez

Here is an arial picture of a few streets north of my place circa 1926.

Here is a shot from Google Maps:

Sadly they probably will change Durango Blvd to Cesar Chavez

**********. Why do they keep targeting Durango?
I heard they are going to change the name of Robert E Lee HS to Bruce Lee HS.

I heard they were changing the name to Bare Lee HS.
**********. Why do they keep targeting Durango?

They actually changed to Durango a few years back. They originally targeted Commerce. When that happened, someone found that Commerce was one of the longest streets in SA and therefore would be a much bigger project to change names. Durango came next.

Also if you Google something like "Cesar Chavez name change", you will find cities all over the US are doing this.

[This message has been edited by Allen76 (edited 5/7/2011 1:36p).]
I believe about a dozen or so years ago, city council (or a city council member) proposed renaming the airport for Chavez. Thankfully that idea was thoroughly quashed.
Wow. Very cool.
Got some more.
(Revisions to the blurbs are welcomed)

Market House/ Market Square

City Market/Market House (1899)

This Victorian style City Market House was designed by Alfred Giles, a noted English architect working in San Antonio at the time. It stood as the premier market for San Antonio until 1938 when the grand structure was replaced with a boring WPA box.

[This message has been edited by p_bubel (edited 6/5/2011 8:39p).]

Vance House

Completed in 1859. It played host to Robert E. Lee, then stationed in San Antonio, at the outbreak of the Civil War and it’s been said that he “reportedly paced the gardens behind the house while trying to decide whether to remain with the Union or join the Confederate Forces.” Once the Federal Reserve got ahold of the property the San Antonio Conservation Society sprang into work to preserve one of the few Antebellum structures in the city. Still smarting from the loss of the Guilbeau House (Also in this set) to the wrecking ball just a couple of blocks away, the group launched a spirited defense of the structure through any and all means necessary. After much legal wrangling, the house fell to the wrecker under rather shady circumstances.

The Architect responsible for the original structure is also credited with designing and installing the iconic Alamo pediment.

City Hall

(Photo taken in 1910)

The building is situated in the center of Military Plaza (Plaza de Armas) established in 1722 by the Spanish settlers of Texas who earlier had established a garrison on San Pedro Creek which runs along the western border of the plaza. The plaza has had a long history as the seat of government. Moses Austin came here in 1820 seeking permission from the Spanish governor to settle Anglo-American colonists in Texas. Construction of the present City Hall in the center of the plaza in 1888-91 put an end to the open air market, the "Chili Queens" and the rowdy activities of the cowboys, cattlemen and gamblers who frequented the plaza outside the early Old Spanish Governor's Palace and "Bat Cave" jailhouse. The Italianate Renaissance Revival style building, designed by a prominent architect known for his work in New York, Chicago, and St. Louis changed the character of Military Plaza from an open market area to the center of municipal government. The fourth floor addition in late twenties stripped the ornamentation from the roofline and turrets.

[This message has been edited by p_bubel (edited 6/5/2011 8:43p).]

Fairmont Hotel

In 1984 the fate of The Fairmount was in debate, one option being the demolition of this nearly century old building to make room for new retail and lodging space; however, the city of San Antonio has long had strong ties to the past and therefore opted to move the entire structure to a new home next to La Villita National Historic District.
Six days later on April 4, 1985 at an approx cost of $1 million to complete this monumental task, the 3.2 million pounds of brick and mortar was lifted onto rollers, trussed with bands of steel and moved five blocks to its present location where it settled onto it's new home ground. The move was national and international news featured in more than 30 foreign countries.
The Guinness Book of World Records noted it as the largest structure ever moved on wheels.

Hemisfair (Schultz Store 1891)

The two-story limestone building with decorative iron balconies served as the warehouse and tin shop of Herman Schultze, whose hardware store was on Commerce Street. It was one of many structures in the area either repurposed or torn down in the 95 acre neighborhood that made way for HemisFair ’68.

Riverwalk Extension (1967)

The original Riverwalk gets its first extension along Commerce St in time for HemisFair.
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