Three hundred years. Three hundred years of growth, prosperity, tragedy, progress, and heritage. Three hundred years of San Antonio and San Pedro Creek. On May 5, 2018, celebrate with us as we honor our rich history at the daylong grand opening of the San Pedro Creek Culture Park, which will culminate in a spectacular Illumination Ceremony presented by Bexar County.
A milestone such as this only comes around once in a lifetime. San Pedro Creek has been a place of natural beauty and human occupation for thousands of years, but our community originated on the banks of San Pedro Creek on May 5, 1718. To be here to bear witness to this event is a gift and will be celebrated for the momentous landmark that it is. Whether you’re new to the city or come from a long lineage of San Antonio residents, you are part of San Antonio’s story.
The San Pedro Culture Park is located on the western edge of downtown. The first segment of the San Pedro Creek Culture Park stretches from the flood tunnel inlet at N. Santa Rosa Street near Fox Tech High School to Houston Street.
Purpose Meets Culture
Over the course of the last 300 years, San Pedro Creek became the site where a convergence of civilizations in our community took root, but due to neglect, the creek’s significance was forgotten. The new San Pedro Creek Culture Park captures the legacy of the waterway through a series of architectural features, murals, interpretive signage, historic preservation, ecosystem restoration and native landscaping.
The interpretive signs along the creek’s banks highlight the creek’s history. From prehistoric habitation by indigenous people more than 12,000 years ago to a series of catastrophic floods during the 1900s that caused the natural creek to be engineered out of existence – a walk through the San Pedro Creek Culture Park serves as a journey through the past with a look to the future.
Purpose Meets Art
The first segment of the Culture Park also features artwork from prominent San Antonio artists that creates a beautiful backdrop to the restored creek. Four artists – Adriana Garcia, Katie Pell, Alex Rubio and Joe Lopez – each created murals based on four distinct themes. Garcia’s mural tells the story of how San Pedro Creek brought forth life, growth and diversity in the area, while Pell’s mural captures the essence of the creek’s flora and fauna. Rubio’s artwork is inspired by the creek’s ever-flowing waters, while Lopez’s work captures the golden age of the Alameda Theater, which serves as the southern anchor of the Culture Park’s first phase and segment.
Additional permanent artwork commissions in the San Pedro Creek Culture Park include storytelling through historical text and poetry by John Phillip Santos, ceramic artwork representing the historical nature of the nearby street names by Diana Kersey and colorful tiles by Michael Menchaca commemorating the people, culture and history of our community.
Purpose Meets Nature
Exemplifying beauty with a purpose, the San Pedro Creek Culture Park serves as vital infrastructure for a growing downtown by increasing the depth and width of the existing creek channel to safely convey floodwaters within San Pedro Creek’s banks. The construction of the channel will fully contain the FEMA floodplain and high paseos (or walkways) that will allow for safe passage up to the 100-year event.
The first phase and segment of the Culture Park features nearly 10,000 new native landscaping features, including 5,824 aquatic plants and 2,426 perennials. All totaled, the initial four-block segment of the Culture Park has more than 40,000 square feet of grasses and 12,000 square feet of aquatic planting.
Among the landscape features are five bioswales, specifically landscaped features that soak up and filter storm water runoff from hard surfaces such as roofs, pavement and parking lots. The project also features storm water interceptors that capture floating trash at storm water inlets before it reaches the creek.
San Pedro Creek Culture Park – Phase 1, Segment 1 Grand Opening
Stroll the banks of the San Pedro Creek Culture Park and experience culture, art and nature during the grand opening of the first segment on May 5, 2018.
The grand opening event is free and open to the public and will incorporate family-friendly fun lining the banks of the San Pedro Creek Culture Park from noon to 9 p.m., including food trucks, live music, children’s activities and historical presentations. The finale of the historic event will be an evening Illumination Ceremony beginning at 7:30 p.m., presented by Bexar County. In a stunning moment, Bexar County will officially open the park by lighting up the creek. Public art installations and artistic design features will be illuminated for the delight of the entire community.
Performances will include a special presentation by Canary Islands Descendent Association, American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions, Mariachi Estrellas de Oro, Classic Music Institute, Musical Bridges Around the World, Olè Flamenco, and Heart of Texas Band featuring music by their guest composer, Mr. Carlos Pellicer, from Valencia, Spain.
The vision for San Pedro Creek was made possible by a partnership between Bexar County and the San Antonio River Authority, in coordination with the City of San Antonio. The San Pedro Creek Culture Park will encompass a total of four phases, with three segments in Phase 1. With the first segment of Phase 1 complete, the second segment from Houston Street to Nueva Street is currently under construction.
For more information visit SPCculturepark.com