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The untold story of San Antonio’s red-light district is the subject of the ‘Running Red-Lights’ podcast

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Rob Martinez

Did you know that San Antonio’s sporting districtwas once one of the busiest vice districts in the nation? The city government, the military and the church played a significant role in the making of and breaking of the district.

San Antonio’s red-light district was established by the city council in 1889 to manage prostitution. It was legally recognized under the “bawdy house” ordinance until 1899. Police refused to shut down the brothels, so they continued to operate.

The limited series podcast “Running Red-Lights” uncovers the untold history of sex work and the madams who ran the industry in San Antonio.

How did the history of the sex worker evolve? Why weren’t the women who ran the red-light district recorded in official historical documents?

How much evidence of their history is left? What happened to some of the women who attempted to make history? How did these women challenge the status quo?


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*This interview was recorded on Thursday, May 12.

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