Hemisfair Park was opened back in 1968 to host the World’s Fair. The theme of the fair that year was “The Confluence of Civilizations in The Americas” and it coincided with the 250th anniversary of the founding of the City of San Antonio. The fair was attended by more than 30 nations and many corporations.
The original location was preserved and redeveloped to become a park. Therefore, it has grown into a functional urban living fun. It offers free walking spaces and improves the quality of life of the residents and visitors alike.
The fair project started back in 1965 when San Antonio was awarded fair status by the Bureau International de Expositions (BIE). The construction of the fair was done on 96.2 acres of land with 129 buildings on site. Of these only 24 were later saved to be incorporated into the Hemisfair.
The River Walk was extended quarter of a mile into Hemisfair Park to increase the number of tourists visiting the park in and join the two. This was done in 1968 and in 2001.
Top Sites and Things to do
Tower of The Americans
This is probably the most iconic site at the Hemisfair park. It is a 750 foot tall tower that provides unparalleled view of the San Antonio City. The tower has a rotating restaurant that gives a panoramic view of San Antonio. The tower also has an observation deck where visitors can enjoy seeing other iconic parts of the San Antonio city.
John H. Wood Jr Federal Courthouse
It was referred to as the U.S. Pavilion and was later changed and named after a slain federal judge. The building was built to serve as a confluence theater during the 1968 fair. It is a drum like structure whose architecture was borrowed from Greek and Roman Architecture.
Institute of Texan Cultures
It was formerly known as the Texas State Pavilion. It is a museum of cultural heritage. At the museum are art exhibits, history and other artifacts. It is run by the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Instituto Cultural de Mexico
It has been in Hemisfair Park for over 50 years. The Instituto Cultural de Mexico holds events meant to showcase the variety of what is the Mexican culture. It can hold 250 people and has three galleries for their displays.
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
The convention center is named after the late US congressman Henry Gonzalez. It was built as the convention center for the fair in 1968. However, it has been renovated and expanded to what it is today.
It’s a state of the art facility with 3 ball rooms, over 200,000 square feet of meeting space, exhibit halls and a theater with 2500 seating capacity. The park presents a great destination for those that want to walk and de-stress. It is also a great place to bring children so they can play and have fun since there playing areas with lots of space.
The Tower of America presents a great place for site seeing of the city while you can enjoy fine dining at the restaurant. The Magic Theatre is located adjacent to the park so you can enjoy both these destinations at the same time if you have kids.