in the Public Realm
Link to Houston Street
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The Link to Houston Street
Ann Benson McGlone

About this Tour Stop...

Once a natural waterway, floods along the San Antonio river were common and city leaders often debated solutions. In 1921, architect Robert H. H. Hugman proposed a plan to retool the river into an urban park filled with dining, shopping, quiet walking areas and living spaces, similar to what he had seen in Europe. His blueprint eventually became the forerunner of today’s popular River Walk. The River Walk gained popularity during HemisFair '68, a 7-month world's fair financed by public funds and through participation of local businesses and some of the nation's leading corporations. Seeing the potential of the River Walk once again, several San Antonio business leaders formed the Paseo del Rio Association in 1969, which continues today as a force for continuous improvement, development and promotion of the River Walk. The River Walk became so successful that the city began a master plan that would help bring people up off the riverbank to the businesses on the streets above. The link to Houston Street designed by Beaty Palmer Architects with landscape architect John Laffoon was built as part of this initiative.