A virtual tour of pre-COVID Downtown San Antonio

The Jaxson dives into its extensive digital city archives to show off the historic downtown core of a booming Texas metropolis: San Antonio

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP

1. Located one level below the city streets, the San Antonio River Walk is a popular pedestrian destination continuously lined with shops, restaurants, hotels, historic missions and public art.

2. The River Walk dates back to 1929 when architect Robert Hugman submitted plans to beautify the 1926 construction of a dam and bypass channel in downtown as a flood control solution for the San Antonio River.

3. Construction of the River Walk was largely funded by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1939.

4. The River Walk has inspired similar projects in other cities, such as the Cherry Creek Greenway in Denver, Colorado, and the Bricktown Canal in Oklahoma City.


6. Built in 1979, the San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk is a 30-story, 350-foot tall hotel along the San Antonio River Walk.

7. The Bexar County Courhouse rises in the background. The historic courthouse was constructed between 1891 and 1896.

8. The first major extension of the River Walk took place during the 1960s. It was expanded to connect the Tower of the Americas as part of HemisFair ‘68.

9. Built as part of HemisFair ‘68, the Henry B. González Convention Center is a 1.6 million square foot convention center with 514,000 square feet of exhibition space.