Jump to content

The World's Fair, "Hemisfair"


enviromain

Recommended Posts

I am interested in viewing photographs from the World's Fair Park historically in San Antonio. When I went there during the 70's, most rides and attractions had been shut down due to safety hazards. I would love to see your photos of the actual working park.

Also, according to Wikipedia (not always reliable), "many structures were demolished and moved, in what was considered a blighted area, to make room for the fair." What do you know?

Thanks for reading this!

Edited by enviromain
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
Great video! My parents went to Hemisfair but I've never seen any pictures of it. I love how that video starts with construction of the Tower of the Americas and Hilton Palacio del Rio.

My whole family went to the Worlds Fair in 1968. I was age 13 at the time. HemisFair was a big effort econimically for San Antonio back then and all of the building trades in the state participated, especially the union trades in Houston. We had relatives in San Antonio that were also union members so it was a big family gathering for us. All the older guys (dads and uncles) hung out at the Lone Star or Pearl Brewery exhibits for almost the whole event. Us kids thus new were to find them when we needed more money for ride tickets.

The "La Quinta Motor Hotel" started out as a new venture in San Antonio that year.

Also, very embarrassing to the plumbing industry, a "cross connection" contaminated drinking water at the Hotel Palacio del Rio and caused several to get sick and some deaths.

I will look for photo graphs of the trip. I'm sure someone in the family was sober enough to take pictures.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...
Also, according to Wikipedia (not always reliable), "many structures were demolished and moved, in what was considered a blighted area, to make room for the fair." What do you know?

Thanks for reading this!

Enviromain I wrote a good part of the Wikipedia article, which involved a lot of research on my part. The area where Hemisfair Park exists today was, in the 1960's, a blighted area consisting mostly of small wood framed houses and other smaller structures. In order to clear the area for the fair the city used federal urban renewal funds and eminent domain to aquire the property. Hard to imagine given the state of the city today, but in the late 50's early 60's the central city was not the tourism, convention and business center it its today.

I hope that clears this up. The two links below are great resources on HemisFair '68 from "The San Antonio Express-News" and the UTSA Library archives.

http://www.lib.utsa.edu/Archives/Guides/hemisfair/index.html

http://www.mysanantonio.com/visitors_guide...N.3014646e.html

There is also a 20th Anniversary special from 1988 from local ABC affiliate KSAT-TV on YouTube you might find interesting as well. The audio is weak (probably from a VHS home recording of the program) so you should listen to it using a headset. Part 2 discusses the neighborhood that existed there and the use of eminent domain to buy it.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Edited by icebrg
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also construction on Interstate 37 was help up until the fair was over and it now covers the western portion of the fair site.

I'm still looking for pirtures BTW. I have several boxes to go. I know we had some because I remember seeing them.

Hint to all of you with elderly parents: Get them to go through all their crap with you before they die. I'm having difficulty wondering what is worth saving and what is just crap. My brother and sister could care less.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
Also construction on Interstate 37 was help up until the fair was over and it now covers the western portion of the fair site.

I'm still looking for pirtures BTW. I have several boxes to go. I know we had some because I remember seeing them.

Hint to all of you with elderly parents: Get them to go through all their crap with you before they die. I'm having difficulty wondering what is worth saving and what is just crap. My brother and sister could care less.

I've got the guidebook from the fair. I'll scan some pages and put them up here. HemisFair has long been of historical interest to me. I was sorry to see they changed area so much from it's original layout. I wish the monorail and skyride were still there at least.

Edited by Disastro
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 years later...

Found my copy of he official souvenir guidebook.

Exhibitors were:

Bell System

Coca Cola

Kodak

Falstaff Brewing

Ford

Frito Lay/ Pepsi Cola

GE

GM

Gulf Interstate Insurance

Gulf Oil

Humble Oil

IBM

Lone Star Brewing

LDS Church

Pearl Brewing

RCA

Sermons from Science (Alive Inc.)

Southern Baptist

Woman's Pavilion

States & Nations: Arkansas, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Venezuela, and the OAS.

Advertisers included: Continental Airlines, Braniff, Frost Bros., Continental Trailways, Gibson's Discount Stores, Joske's, King Ranch, and others.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

My parents probably have pictures or even 8mm movie film. I wonder what shape that is in. I'll take Plumber2's advice and try to get my parents to look at their stuff with me while we are all still here. They have lived in the same house since July 1961 so I can just imagine all that is in there.

My memory of our families visit to the fair is vague. It was during the summer between my 1st and 2nd grade year in school. My parents had just bought a silver Buick Skylark in which we traveled from Houston to San Antonio. I do remember very well being on the observation deck of the tower and Dad finding our car in the parking lot through the coin operated binoculars. We knew it was ours because we could even read the license plates.

We stayed at La Mansion on the river but I believe it had a different name then. I thought my father was incredibly strange for wanting a room that backed up to the parking garage instead of one on the river side of the building. There was a door which went directly from the room to the garage and we parked only a few feet away. Obviously this helped Dad get our luggage into the room without having to tip a porter.

Forty-four years on I now understand my father better. He's the guy who runs the Sam Houston Parkway (ugh! there's that incorrectly used name again) access lanes, stopping at every light, rather than paying the toll and driving on the main lanes. To quote the old man, "I pay taxes. I'll be damned if I'm going to pay extra to drive on a road in my own country!" Dad truly does believe that this is the "land of the free."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...