Hemisfair Park Historic District

HemisFair Park was the site of the 1968 World’s Fair, a planned cultural fair to celebrate “the confluence of civilizations in the Americas” and the City of San Antonio’s cultural diversity. Today it contains numerous buildings and structures dating from the Spanish Colonial Era through the mid-twentieth century, many of which have been designated as State Archeological Landmarks. HemisFair Park is also a City of San Antonio local historic district. Visitors can imagine water flowing through the reconstructed Acequia Madre, envision what life was like in the simple adobe homes of the Spanish and Mexican eras, and see mansions constructed in the late nineteenth century. The park was built on the site of a historic neighborhood, much of which was razed to make way for its construction. Twenty two buildings that were saved and adapted as well as two reconstructions can be found in the park today. Additionally, visitors can view structures constructed specifically for the World’s Fair, including the Tower of the Americas, an iconic feature of the San Antonio skyline.

The tower, designed by renowned architect O’Neil Ford, has recently been determined eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (City of San Antonio n.d.; Harris et al 2011; UTSA Center for Cultural Sustainability 2011). Though most of the resources within the park are not immediately visible from the trail alignment, the main entrance to the park fronts onto S. Alamo Street. The table below lists the historically significant buildings in the park, and there are several websites with additional information on the evolution of the property and its historical significance.

More information regarding the history of the park and associated buildings can be found on other City of San Antonio websites, on the Texas State Historical Association’s Handbook of Texas Online, as well as on the Hemisfair Association’s website.

Sources

  • City of San Antonio

    n.d. - Site History: Pre-HemisFair Neighborhood Site; Actions Leading Up to HemisFair; Significance of HemisFair to San Antonio; Post-HemisFair Action, http://www.sanantonio.gov/sapar/villitahis.asp?res=1280&ver=true (accessed May 6, 2010).

  • Harris, Brandy, Amy McWhorter, Kelley Russell, and Casey Hanson

    2011 - Historic Resources Reconnaissance Survey Report, “Mission Trails” Enhancement Project, Package V Final Hike-and-Bike Trail Amenities, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, TxDOT San Antonio District, PBS&J, Austin, Texas, Document No. 100231.

  • UTSA Center for Cultural Sustainability, William A. Dupont, Director

    2011 - Inventory, Assessment and Evaluation of Historic Resources in HemisFair Park, Prepared for Johnson Fain, Consultant for “Master Plan Study for HemisFair Park and Surrounding Area” requested by the HemisFair Park Area Redevelopment Corporation.
Resource Name Address Architect Year Built Visible from Trail (Y/N) Open to the Public (Y/N)
Schultze Store 5 Hemisfair Plaza Unknown 1891 Yes Conference Center leased by Hilton Hotel
James Sweeney House 6 Hemisfair Plaza Unknown Ca. 1860 No No
Hermann Schultze House 7 Hemisfair Plaza Unknown Ca. 1967 (reconstruction) No No
Meyer-Halff House 7 Hemisfair Plaza Unknown Ca. 1967 (reconstruction) No No
Kampmann/Soloman Halff House 17 Hemisfair Plaza Unknown Ca. 1875 No Yes (Casa Mexicana gift shop, etc.)
Acosta/Halff House 16 Hemisfair Plaza Unknown Ca. 1892 No No
Beethoven Hall 15 Hemisfair Plaza Unknown 1913 Yes Yes (Magik Children’s Theatre)
Hermann Carriage House 20 Hemisfair Plaza Unknown Ca. 1840 No No
Sarah Riddle Eager House 434 South Alamo Street Unknown 1866 Yes Yes (San Antonio Women’s Chamber of Commerce)
Eager Dependency 19 Hemisfair Plaza Unknown Ca. 1870 No Yes (Public Restroom)
Pereida House 23 Hemisfair Plaza Unknown Ca. 1883 Yes Yes (San Antonio Parks and Recreation Administrative Office)
OK Barr 4 Hemisfair Plaza Unknown Ca. 1890 (Relocated) Yes Yes (Alamo City Chamber of Commerce)
Koehler House 24 Hemisfair Plaza Unknown Ca. 1856 No Yes (San Antonio Parks and Recreation Facility)
Espinoza House 25 Hemisfair Plaza Unknown Ca. 1856 No Yes (San Antonio Parks and Recreation Facility)
Amaya House 3 Hemisfair Plaza Unknown 1840s No No
Smith House 21 Hemisfair Plaza Unknown Ca. 1840s No No
Solis House 22 Hemisfair Plaza Unknown Ca. 1840s (Relocated) No No
Kusch House 9 Hemisfair Plaza Unknown Ca. 1885 No Unknown
Wietzel House 2 Hemisfair Plaza Unknown Ca. 1859 No Yes (Public Restrooms)
Maximillian Schultze House (aka Longworth House) 10 Hemisfair Plaza Unknown Ca. 1893 No No (Bexar County Master Gardeners Office)
Dugosh House 14 Hemisfair Plaza Unknown Ca. 1850s No No (In ruins)
Richter/Rzeppa House 11 Hemisfair Plaza Unknown Unknown No No (Park Police Training Facility)
Coyne (Coyone)/ Tynan/Dugosh House 12 Hemisfair Plaza Unknown Ca. 1850s No Yes (Restaurant)
Tynan Dependency 13 Hemisfair Plaza Unknown Ca. 1857 No No (In ruins)
Tower of the Americas 701 Bowie Street O’Neill Ford and Associates 1968 Yes Yes
US Civil Service Commission 643 Durango Roberts, Allen & Helmke 1968 No No
US Pavilion/Confluence Theater 655 Durango Marmon and Mok Associates and Donald Desky 1968 No No
Acequia Madre de Valero/Landscape/ Archaeological Site 600 East Market Street Unknown Ca. 1718 No Yes

Hemisfair Park Historic District Map

Hemisfair District Map
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