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Major stretch of San Pedro Creek Culture Park nears completion in downtown San Antonio

Menchaca_install_1.2 (1).jpg
Bexar County
Talavera-style tiles by artist Michael Menchaca are installed near a stairwell to the San Pedro Creek Culture Park.

Major progress has been made on another stretch of the $180 million, 2.2-mile long San Pedro Creek Culture Park through the west side of downtown San Antonio. 

A park subcommittee heard an update on Thursday from managers on the project. Christine Clayton, the engineer of the San Antonio River Authority overseeing the project on behalf of the county, told the subcommittee water will be flowing in the creek between Houston and Cesar Chavez Streets by the end of June.  

All major work will done by August. A public opening is set for October, she said.

The project's art curator Carrie Brown said work is entering the final stages on an art project named "Stream" in the 300 block of West Commerce Street. It's a lighted outdoor waterfall that can change colors once synched to music or voices from a sculpted bronze 1940s-style radio microphone at its base.

Brown said "Stream" is the work of New York artist Adam Brown who will be on site soon.

"We are currently installing the light fixtures and then the DMX controllers and, of course, we have ongoing coordination with the construction team. There are a number of items that need to be complete before Adam comes to the site with his sculpture to do the installation, including cable run and testing, internet access, and, of course, installing the enclosures where his hardware will be installed," said Brown.

Three out of five creek side murals that tell the story of the county's 300 year old diverse history are completed.  A fourth will be installed next week and fifth will be installed by the end of the month, Brown said.

Murals below the Spanish Governor's Palace, between West Commerce and Dolorosa Streets, tell the story of the county's 300 year old diverse history.jpeg
Bexar County
Murals below the Spanish Governor's Palace, between West Commerce and Dolorosa Streets, tell the story of the county's 300-year-old diverse history.

The entire mural installation, named "La Gloriosa Historia de San Pedro Creek" by Lionel and Kathy Sosa, is on the creek level below the Spanish Governor's Palace, located between Dolorosa and West Commerce Streets.

New sidewalks across from the old Continental Hotel on West Commerce are expected to be finished by next week, according to Clayton.

Work is also wrapping up on the research to be used by historians for the wording on interpretive signs at the old foundations of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, a soap works, and brewery near Camaron and West Commerce streets.  The overlapping foundations from different periods in west downtown's history were unearthed during the project. The church dates back to the post-Civil War era.  

Work is underway at the church foundation to support the placement of a shade structure above, but funds still need to be raised by the San Antonio River Foundation for the structure itself.

Texas Public Radio is supported by contributors to the Arts & Culture News Desk including The Guillermo Nicolas & Jim Foster Art Fund, Patricia Pratchett, and the V.H. McNutt Memorial Foundation.

Ornate tile work is also wrapping up on bridges and benches along the creek and landscaping, Clayton said.

Foundations have been poured for new restrooms at Houston and Camaron Streets, and at Alamo Street.

Some subcommittee members expressed concern that a stop light at Camaron might flood a future performance area with traffic noise. SARA staff said they would discuss the issue with the city for its possible removal.

Exterior work on the Nueva Street gatehouse and an adjacent trellis has been completed, Clayton reported.

In Phase 2, farther down the creek, sidewalks are done on the Guadalupe Street Bridge and railing is going up on the bridge.

Work is also underway on the Alamo Street restroom near the creek. The new gate at Alamo is expected to be installed next week, Clayton said.

In Phase 3 of the creek project, south of Alamo to the confluence of the Alazan and Apache creeks under I-35, work continues for footing for bank walls near the Union Pacific Railroad bridge, which will eventually be redone.  

In Phase 4, creek side real estate acquisition efforts continue between El Paso to Guadalupe streets.

All four phases, which include flood control, art, walkways, and water features may by completed by the middle of next year, except for the El Paso to Guadalupe stretch.

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Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at brian@tpr.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian