The need for an assessment of existing conditions and recommendations for improvements within the World Heritage Buffer and along the World Heritage Trail was identified as part of the community process. A beautification assessment was completed in June of 2016. The World Heritage Beautification Assessment identifies potential strategies and opportunities to improve the visual character and perceived safety, comfort, and function of spaces within the World Heritage Trail corridor. Residents and visitors alike will benefit from the recommended improvements outlined in the banner

Branded Banners

The Assessment identified developing standard banner graphics for use along vehicular routes mounted on existing light poles as a way to reinforce wayfinding. In 2016, branded banners were installed along the World Heritage Trail.

Photo Banners

In 2016 and 2017, banners with historic photos, gathered as part of the Office of Historic Preservation’s cultural mapping project were installed. Photos banners were installed to serve not only as wayfinding, but also to exhibit the rich historical and cultural heritage of the area. View the map to find locations and see the online image gallery.

Public Art Opportunities

Another of the physical improvements recommended was to identify and develop public art opportunities along the World Heritage Trail. As a result, in fiscal year 2017 the City is working in collaborative partnerships with local arts organizations to create a series of public art murals along the World Heritage Trail. The functional murals are to be placed in key areas along the route, in order to reinforce and enhance the visitor experience, while also providing an aesthetic vision that reflects the rich history and culture of the missions, people and neighborhoods within the area. The plan includes 10 proposed sites along the trail for murals.

On Wednesday, January 25 from 6:00-8:00 at Stinson Municipal Airport, over 50 people gathered to review the sites proposed by the Department of Arts & Culture and the World Heritage Office and share feedback and ideas for pubic artworks along the World Heritage trail. The meeting was hosted by City Councilwoman Rebecca J. Viagran, and attended by City Councilwoman Shirley Gonzalez.

Input was gathered at stations featuring maps and images of the ten proposed sites. Images of murals and artworks in San Antonio and abroad created by local and international artists were displayed alongside historical photos related to the proposed sites. By having attendees write ideas on post-it notes, and through conversation with Public Art San Antonio and World Heritage Office staff, ideas and feedback ranging from long term public art priorities to sketches of artworks, personal recollections, and neighborhood histories were collected.

As a result of the meeting the ten locations were identified as:

Stinson Airport

Consists of 1 mural.

Stinson Mural
Pioneers of the Sky, Stinson School of Flying, May 2017
  • The Stinson Airfield mural, Pioneers of the Sky, celebrates the achievements of women in aviation with portraits of trail blazers Katherine and Marjorie Stinson, who, with their brother Eddie, opened the Stinson School of Flying in 1915. Katherine and Marjorie were stunt and endurance pilots, educators, and the first women to fly for the postal service and US Aviation Reserve Corps, respectively. Historical aircrafts illustrate what was used at the time, and the tremendous gains made in aeronautics. Young girls with eyes to the sky represent the continued and future inspirations and accomplishments of women in aviation.
  • The artist team was led by Andy and Yvette Benavides of SMART, and created by San Antonio artists Joe De La Cruz, Chris Montoya, and Jose Cosme, and painter Gary Gomez, with input from John Tosh and Sebastian St. Cloud from the Texas Air Museum.
World Heritage Public Art at Stinson Municipal Airport Service Building

Underpass @ Loop 410 & Villamain Road

Consists of 4 murals.

Coahuiltecan Seasons, July 2017

The four murals along Villamain Road at the Loop 410 Underpass pay tribute to the native plants and animals that have sustained generations, and the seasonal migrations of the Coahuiltecan bands and clans that populated this area for thousands of years.

Concept and art direction by Andy and Yvette Benavides of SMART, working with Ramon Vasquez of American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions.

  • Spring, Yucca, Heron AITSCM, Lead Artist Albert Garza
    The stems, leaf bases, flowers, emerging flower stalks, and fruits of many Southwestern Yuccas were edible when harvested and processed properly. Additionally, the Yucca plant served medicinal purposes as the fruit acts as a strong laxative. The Yucca sap was also used for burns and other skin problems.
  • Winter, Pecan, Mountain Lion Cristina Sosa Noriega
    For the native Coahuiltecans, pecans were a highly valued food resource. The low water, high energy content of pecans makes them a compact and readily storable food source. The mountain lion inhabited the area in the early seventeenth and eighteenth century and many Spanish explorers referred to the mountain lion as cougar, panther, and puma (Foster).
  • Fall, Mesquite, Deer Chris Montoya
    Mesquite was a vital resource for food, fuel, medicine and implement making. Coahuiltecans utilized mesquite in many forms, which include blossoms, green pods, and dried pods. Blossoms were collected and either boiled or roasted on heated stones, squeezed into balls and consumed (Texas beyond History).
  • Summer, Nopal and Tuna, Black Bear Joe de la Cruz
    The fruit of the cactus known as “tunas” were harvested from areas knows as “Gran Tunales”. The nopal pads, especially the younger ones, can be eaten year-round. The Tunas were found in 4 different colors: red, white, yellow and green (mostly in Northeastern Mexico). The Black Bear was common in South Texas including San Antonio and were hunted by the local natives as well as the early Spanish explorers for the hides.

Mountain Lion and Pecan mural

Yucca flowers and herons mural

    Four Seasons murals

World Heritage Public Art- I-410 Underpass at Villamain

US-90 Highway Underpass @ S. Presa Street & Roosevelt Avenue

Consists of 2 murals.

Phase I Dedication - April 18, 2018, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. (click here for event flyer)

Preliminary Concepts
  • Site improvements to landscape and lights
  • Light and sound art
  • Use pillars to tell the story of world heritage, commemorate people with portraits, communicate meaning of Presa and link to water

US-90 Highway Underpass at S. Presa Street and Roosevelt Avenue

US-90 Highway Underpass @ Mission Road & Steves Avenue

Consists of 2 murals.

Preliminary Concepts
  • Make site enhancements to lighting, seating, sidewalks and maintenance.
  • Tile or mosaic
  • Flora and fauna of Missions and river
  • Connect to Presa and Roosevelt, a good place to a deep history – shown in wraps on the columns

US-90 Highway Underpass at Mission Road and Steves Avenue

Underpass @ SE Military & Mission Parkway

Consists of 1 mural.

Underpass at SE Military and Mission Parkway

Opportunities for Public Input
  • January 3, 2017 - Public Art Committee Meeting - Agenda
  • January 25, 2017 - World Heritage Public Art Mural Community Meeting - Notice
  • March 6, 2017 - Stinson Public Art Mural Community Meeting - Notice • Presentation 
  • March 7, 2017 - Public Art Committee Meeting · Agenda
  • March 15, 2017 - Historic and Design Review Commission - Agenda
  • March 20, 2017 - Villamain Public Art Murals Community Meeting - Notice • Presentation
  • March 26, 2017 - Sicovia World Heritage Public Art Murals Input Opportunity
  • April 4, 2017 - Public Art Committee Meeting - Agenda
  • April 17, 2017 - IH 90 Public Art Murals Community Meeting - Notice
  • April 18, 2017 - San Antonio Art Commission Meeting - Agenda
  • May 2, 2017 - San Antonio Arts Commission Meeting - Agenda
  • May 3, 2017 - Stinson Airport Mural Dedication - Notice
  • May 18, 2017 - Mission Parkway Mural Community Meeting - Notice
  • June 20, 2017 - San Antonio Arts Commission Meeting 
  • June 29, 2017 - Mission Parkway Mural Community Meeting - Notice
  • June 30, 2017 - IH 90 Public Art Murals Community InputNews Release
  • July 12, 2017 -Villamain Four Seasons Mural DedicationInvite • News Release •  Press Release
  • August 8, 2017- San Antonio Arts Commission Meeting--  •Agenda
  • August 15, 2017- San Antonio Arts Commission Meeting-- Mission Parkway Final Design • Agenda