Posts tagged “San Antonio

Hope Springs Eternal for Riverfront Tourism

Posted on August 14, 2012

Countless cities have harnessed rivers as focal points for civic renaissance and tourism gambits. Memphis’s Mud Island and Minneapolis’s Mill District are but two of the nation’s riverside destinations. San Antonio’s River Walk, by dint of its age, is a more iconic example. First envisioned in the 1920s and constructed with federal funding under FDR’s New Deal, the River Walk became as much a handle for San Antonio as the famed Alamo. While creating a great riverine attraction on the surface may appear straightforward, it involves much more than meets the eye. Maintaining San Antonio’s tourist and civic goldmine is not simply a matter of maintaining the infrastructure at water’s edge. Rather, at this time of year, especially in droughts, it is a matter of…

Bostonizing San Antonio

Posted on April 23, 2012

Imagine thousands of millennials taking their places alongside tourists and conventioneers on the famed San Antonio River Walk. On March 22nd, we called attention to San Antonio’s new tourism-marketing strategy “San Antonio Stories,” which aims to attract the creative class to the Texas city with promises of seeing (and hopefully joining) an artistic and inventive beehive. Last week, My San Antonio (the San Antonio Express-News online) reported the results of a city-commissioned study as part of SA2020, a blueprint for how a city best known for the Alamo and the River Walk might look eight years from now. Much of SA2020 focuses on improving many facets of residential life in a city that has in recent years begun to address its longtime dependence on tourism and the military for a…

Mr. Hugman’s Dream

Posted on March 24, 2012

This clip by YouTube user mamacoke gives a good sense of the tourist experience of the San Antonio River Walk. Like many urban places, the River Walk, or Paseo del Rio, owes its origins to the New Deal in the late 1930s, when Works Progress Administration workers began to fulfill architect Robert Hugman’s vision of the “Shops of Aragon and Romula.” The City of San Antonio maintains an excellent online tour guide, the R.H.H. Hugman River Walk Tour, which offers a gallery of historic photos, including some of the original plan and construction.

Please Step Away From the River

Posted on March 22, 2012

San Antonio’s official tourism promotion slogan is “San Antonio, Deep in the Heart.” And, deep in the heart of San Antonio is the colorful River Walk, miles of walkways, terraces, and footbridges that hug the San Antonio River as it meanders through the city’s downtown area. Originally built with New Deal dollars in the 1930s and greatly expanded in the 1960s, the River Walk moved to the very center of San Antonio’s tourist image, rivaling even the Alamo. Then, almost three years ago, the City of San Antonio partnered with local, state, and federal agencies to double the River Walk’s length with the 1.3-mile Museum Reach, signaling an attempt to open up to visitors the city’s cultural attractions beyond downtown. Now the San Antonio…