“…the fair is fun, southwest style, but what San Antonio does with the center-city site after October will be the real measure of Hemisfair’s success.”
Ada Louise Huxtable, Architecture Critic
New York Times, April 4, 1968
The 1968 world’s fair is the beginning of this story. The fair was built on a 92-acre site on the southeastern edge of downtown San Antonio, acquired mainly through eminent domain. Many structures in what was considered a blighted area were demolished and moved to make room for the fair, with some more important historic sites spared and preserved.
From April to October in 1968, about six million visitors came to the city. In typical fair planning, once the fair was complete the city lacked a good transition plan. So they put a fence around it and the site sat unimproved for 47 years.
It was a fantastic location for the fair, on the River Walk and near the convention center. In fact, the fair changed perceptions about the struggling River Walk and the city that reinvigorated its draw as a tourist destination. Continue reading
Filed under: employment, funding, maintenance/management, partnerships, planning, renewal | Tagged: Andres Andujar, Hemisfair, Kathy Blaha, redevelopment, san antonio, Texas, Worlds Fair | 1 Comment »