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Renovations are complete at San Antonio's oldest park

San Pedro Springs Park pool is popular attraction during San Antonio's long, muggy, hot summers.
San Antonio Parks & Recreation
San Pedro Springs Park pool is popular attraction during San Antonio's long, muggy, hot summers.

The city is celebrating Saturday at San Pedro Springs Park after the completion of $1.8 million in renovations, the fourth major one in the park's long history.

It's the second oldest public park in the nation, located on land owned by the Spanish government and dedicated for public use in the 18th Century.  Only Boston Commons, which dates back to 1630, is older, according to the parks and recreation department.

Lawn games, fitness activities, and library activities will be offered from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Food and beverages will also be available for purchase.

The park space features renovations to the parking areas along San Pedro Avenue and Myrtle Avenue, the removal of the ball fields to add open green space, repair of the historic acequia, edge monuments along San Pedro Avenue, new lighting, the completion of the loop walking trail and 183 new trees.

People have gathered around the springs and creek for some 12,000 years, reported a city website.  Spanish explorers first established their camps at what is now the park area in the late 17th Century.

The United States Army stabled camels at the park in 1856, Sam Houston spoke at a political rally at the park in 1860 and prisoners were held in the park during the Civil War.

The park also underwent major renovations in the 1890s and after World War I.  The first of those two renovations saw the lake cleaned and its stone walls repaired, the stagnant ponds were filled in, the old pavilion was demolished, and a new bandstand was constructed. The second renovation started in 1915 and was completed in the 1920s. It included the construction of a swimming pool in the lakebed.

A 1998-2000 renovation of the park restored landscape and structural features. San Pedro Springs Park was entered in the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

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