John Tobin Park offers San Antonio residents the opportunity to enjoy quality time with their family and friends in the great outdoors. Pack a picnic lunch and head out to the park to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine today.
Alcohol is prohibited, amenities are first come, first serve.
John Tobin Community Center was originally constructed in 1957. The first building was designed by the architectural firm of Jones and Grobe and built by Walter E. Bowden at a cost of $14,643.
In December 1957, City Council formally named the new recreation building the John Tobin Youth Center. According to Council minutes, the name was one of several suggested by school children in the vicinity. A committee of City officials appointed to review the names chose to name the facility for Mr. Tobin who served as San Antonio’s mayor from June 1923 until his death in November 1927.
John Tobin was a descendant of San Antonio’s original Canary Island settlers. His grandfather, John W. Smith, fought in the Texas revolution, was the city’s first mayor under the Republic of Texas, and served in the first Texas congress. John Tobin first served as Bexar County sheriff for 21 years. He was then elected mayor shortly after the devastating 1921 flood and therefore understood the importance of flood control. Tobin was instrumental in building the Olmos Dam and widening Martinez and Alazan Creeks.
Under his administration, the City greatly expanded its parks and recreation system and also built the Municipal Auditorium.
The center’s location on Alazan Creek and its importance as a recreation facility are fitting tributes to Tobin’s work. Thirty years after it was constructed, the City Council approved a contract to enlarge and renovate Tobin Recreation Center. Under the direction of architect Paul Garcia, $367,000 was invested in improvements to the center. It was rededicated on November 17, 1979.
Numerous additional improvements to Tobin were made in 1999 and 2000. The first was a multi-use addition that allows additional programming and activities at the center. This $200,000 park bond-funded project also included accessibility improvements in the rest rooms, interior renovation, a kiln room, drinking fountain and concrete walkways. The consultant for the project was Louis Cruz Associates and the contractor was LVA Construction Co.
An additional $85,000 in improvements were made by Parks and Recreation Department Park Operations Division staff. These included replacement and installation of new bay light fixtures and scoreboards in the gym; lighting in the kitchen, game room, hallway and rest rooms by departmental electricians. New security lighting was also installed outside the building. Carpenters installed new drop ceilings in the game room, kitchen, office and rest rooms. They also built shelves for the kiln room, storage rooms and in the new addition. They replaced floor tiles throughout the building and installed exhaust fans in the rest rooms. Park Operations masons poured new walkways to the front and back entrances of the center and sealed off the old air conditioning vents throughout the building's interior walls. They also assisted HVAC crews in modifying duct installation in the rear door over head. The HVAC crews installed new units and ducts throughout the entire building and gym. Painters painted the center's interior and exterior walls. Plumbers made minor repairs to existing fixtures in the rest rooms. The new improvements were dedicated on May 15, 2000.