ARTchitecture in San Antonio, Texas

painting of san antonio skyline

When you think of art, chances are you envision a two dimensional piece of work. Perhaps a painting on a canvas or a photograph taken many years ago. Art can be created with and on a wide variety mediums.  Whatever the format, the foundation, or the tool, that piece of work is and has been created by an artist. But we know art can be so much more than color on canvas. Imagine a place where buildings cut across a landscape in such a creative way that you no longer look at typical cities in the same way. Keep in mind that these designs weren't created by formally or traditionally-thought artists, but rather architects, creating structures so special, we like to call the result ARTchitecture.  

entrance to the alamo

entrance to the alamo

Experiencing French, Spanish and Native American Indian influences in culture and landscape makes San Antonio, Texas a popular place to visit.  Misión San Antonio de Valero, the State's most popular tourist attraction, is a longstanding symbol of independence for the State of Texas.

The San Antonio de Valero Mission, known for the Battle of the Alamo, and today commonly known as just The Alamo, is San Antonio's most noteworthy. Upon first approach, you see the detail in the design of the front of the building is spectacular! There are many different shapes and angles influenced by early Roman Catholic and Spanish era symbolism, that truly make it a work of art.

It was constructed as a church by Spanish Friars to convert the local Indians to the Christian faith. It's been constructed and restructured for centuries in efforts to be a place of worship, to service missionaries, as an Army depot, and today a museum and gift shop.  

The San Antonio Riverwalk, or Paseo del Río, follows the path of the San Antonio River, weaving in, out and through one story below some of the city's most impressive views. 

 
Riverwalk / Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center

Riverwalk / Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center

Riverwalk / foliage

Riverwalk / foliage

riverwalk / omni la mansion del rio

riverwalk / omni la mansion del rio

riverwalk / stone arches leading to access

riverwalk / stone arches leading to access

 

The buildings surrounding the Riverwalk, are nothing short of amazing! Although many of the traditional buildings were built to spread the Christian doctrine, like The Alamo, much of the architecture since then harbors French neo-classical elements, Romanesque Revival, as well as Victorian influences.  A standout would be the Texas "Taj Mahal" also know was the Randolph Air Force base.   Housing in San Antonio's King William area holds some of the city's historic landmarks.

 
 
 

King William Residential District

Housing in San Antonio's King William area holds some of the city's historic landmarks.The most popular landmarks help celebrate the old and the new.  There are other buildings of even more eclectic and contrasting design, like the San Antonio Public Library, offered in the locally known color of  "enchilada red". 

san antonio public library

san antonio public library

Another notable building in San Antonio is the Marriott Rivercenter. This is a more contemporary building, something you may see in a movie. It is the tallest commercial building, and the second tallest structure in the city. Located just across from the Riverwalk, the building was designed with the twin towers of Mission Concepcion in mind. The breathtaking design of the Marriott includes beautifully shaped structural walls and plenty of windows. It is definitely a sight to see!

If you are ever in town, you will definitely want to check out other works of architectural art, such as the Emily Morgan Hotel, the Tower of Americas and the Tower Life Building. Each of these structures has a unique sense of beauty that should not be missed. Needless to say, San Antonio, Texas is much more than the Alamo.  Remember that!

BY SACHI ITO

CONTRIBUTING FROM SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS

Credit(s):

1. San Antonio Video:  James Boddie - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBGg2O6S38Y