San Antonio's Biggest Little Park Is Also A Pace Family Memorial | Texas Public Radio

San Antonio's Biggest Little Park Is Also A Pace Family Memorial

Apr 11, 2014

There’s a park in San Antonio that owes its existence to one of the city’s art icons. Being just less than an acre, it’s easy to miss, but I recommend you don’t. To find it go down South Flores to Camp Street, and on the west side of the road, there it is.

"CHRISpark is a privately-funded park that’s open to the public," said Jon Ahrens, the landscape architect who designed CHRISpark.

“Chris was the son of Linda Pace,” he added.

Artist, collector and philanthropist Linda Pace had the unenviable task of burying her own son in 1997. She decided to process her grief by building a park dedicated to him.

“Basically what Linda wanted to have was a large public space at the entrance to the park,” Ahrens said.

A huge steel trellis at the entrance supports a massive purple blooming Wisteria vine.

“As you entire the park you can go one direction into a bamboo forest, for a kind of shady retreat" said Ahrens. "And as you circumnavigate the park you come to the back side of the park, that has kind of a large St. Augustine lawn area.”

Several earthen berms about six feet high break up the visuals on the formerly flat parking lot, and help to absorb the sound of traffic.

“They call them the tumble hills, you know, for kids that can have a nice place to play and they can run and play and tumble down the hills” he said.

There’s an amazing amount of park in less than an acre. Chattering birds have claimed the space where there’s public art, large trees, and when we’re not in a drought, jumping jet fountains for the kids. And one there was one last objective Pace requested.

“Really just having a nice garden space to serve the whole neighborhood here,” said Ahrens.

Mission accomplished.