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Hemisfair To Start Taking Shape This Summer

Ryan Loyd
TPR News

Visitors to Hemisfair will soon start seeing construction on the southwest corner of the park.

City council recently approved the contract for Fisher Heck Architects, a San Antonio firm, to design the restoration and stabilization project for ten of the historic structures on the Hemisfair grounds.

After months of community outreach, the redevelopment design contracts have already been issued. Hemisfair Planning Director Omar Gonzalez said phase one will offer shops and places for having a glass of wine and people watching along with an extensive recreation area for families.

Credit Hemisfair
Artist rendering of the playscape planned for the southwest corner of Hemisfair.

"We're looking at a play environment that involves enclosed and open-air climbing structures," Gonzalez said. "It will have a promenade that sort of weaves through sort of mimicking the movement of the San Antonio River, and that becomes the spine of this area. And then off of that, we have areas for a games plaza where we can have an oversized chess game, a ping-pong table, and a bocce ball court."

Water play areas are envisioned for all sectors of the park, as well as shaded areas in the day which will be lighted at night.

What has been Hemisfair property since 1968 was once a residential neighborhood.

The design for the stabilization of ten of those historic should be ready by June and restoration on the first five will begin in the fall. The larger plan includes stabilizing all the historic buildings for new uses as shops, bars and restaurants.

Design of the recreation area is already underway and construction is set to begin in May.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.