Check out films featuring these famous Texas landmarks!
The San Antonio River Walk, also known as Paseo del Rio, is a two-and-a-half mile stretch of pedestrian walkways, shops, and restaurants along the river in the heart of downtown San Antonio, one story below street level.
As the city developed along the San Antonio River, the area was plagued by flooding. After a devastating flood in 1921 in which 50 people lost their lives, the city government went forward with a plan to divert the river and pave over the section that flowed through the city, creating a storm sewer in its place. A group of concerned citizens, founding what would become the San Antonio Conservation Society, succeeded in stopping the paving and in 1929, the city adopted Robert H.H. Hugman’s plan to continue with flood control measures, but incorporate plans for commercial development along the banks. However, the area was reputedly highly dangerous, as a result of both natural disasters and crime.
Nonetheless, WPA funding helped bring this first phase of the project to completion in 1938. According to the Paseo del Rio Association, a nonprofit organization founded in 1968 to promote and preserve the River Walk, it is today the number-one tourist attraction in Texas, with continued growth and expansion.
The River Walk is home to many festivals and celebrations, including Fiesta San Antonio, Fiesta de Las Luminarias, and the Mud Festival.
San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, located in La Porte on Houston’s ship channel is the site of the San Jacinto Monument and the Battleship Texas.
The San Jacinto Monument commemorates the Battle of San Jacinto, the deciding battle of the Texas Revolution in which Sam Houston’s army routed the troops of Santa Anna in eighteen minutes. Standing at 567.31 feet, it is the tallest monument column in the world. The base, which is decorated with eight panels depicting the history of Texas, houses a museum and amphitheatre. The top has an observation deck from which visitors can view the reflection pool, USS Texas, and the Houston skyline. The monument was constructed between 1936 – 1939, and was dedicated on April 21, 1939.
Located at the crest of a hill at Congress and 11th Streets in Austin, the Texas Capitol houses the state legislature and office of the governor. The current building is the fourth to house Texas’ government, and with over 1 million square feet, is the largest state capitol in the nation.
Designed by architect Elijah E. Myers, who won the commission in a design competition, the Capitol was built between1882 – 1888, and opened to the public on April 21, 1888 (San Jacinto Day.) The contractors who constructed the building were paid not in cash, but with three million acres of land in the Texas Panhandle. This was one of the largest barter deals in history, and the land traded became the famous XIT Ranch.
The iconic pink granite was not part of the original plan, however, the intended Oak Hill limestone had a high iron content which caused it to undesirably discolor when exposed to the elements. Owners of Granite Mountain near Marble Falls, TX donated the “sunset red” granite as an alternative.
Inside the capitol rotunda hangs a portrait of every person who has served as President of the Republic or Governor of Texas.
The Eighth Wonder of the World
Designed by architects Hermon Lloyd & W.B. Morgan, and Wilson, Morris, Crain and Anderson and built at a cost of $35 million (1965 dollars), the Astrodome opened in 1965 as the “Harris County Domed Stadium.” Eighteen stories tall, covering 9 ½ acres, and with a dome of 710 feet in diameter, it was built as part of the deal to bring Major League Baseball expansion team, the Colt .45s (later renamed the Astros) to Houston – the city’s subtropical climate required an air-conditioned indoor stadium to make summertime sports viable.
Conceived as a multi-use arena, the Astrodome was also home to NFL team the Houston Oilers and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. It was also the site of many notable music concerts and political events, including Hubert Humphrey’s 1968 campaign rally and the 1992 Republican National Convention. No longer in regular use, for two weeks in September 2005, the Astrodome served as a temporary shelter for Katrina evacuees from New Orleans.