Friday, June 01, 2007

San Antonio River Walk Shopping, '70s style

San Antonio, Texas - photos 1971

Not an indoor shopping mall here, obviously, but rather, a famous and historical outdoor pedestrian shopping center (among other attractions and services) located in quite a unique setting--along the winding San Antonio River! This is River Walk (aka Paseo del Rio), in downtown San Antonio. If you're interested, you can read all about its history from the various resource links I've provided at the end of this entry. I mainly just wanted to share these pretty pictures. :)

The photos and selected quotes and captions in this post were kindly provided by Jay (thanks again!), and come from an article titled “San Antonio Renaissance on the River”, from an April 1971 copy of Southern Living Magazine. The caption for the first photo above reads: “Brightly colored barges carry passengers beside the Starving Artist Show”, and the following content is all from the same article as well...

Once abused and ticketed for a bed in oblivion, the San Antonio River is now a ‘movable feast’ of flowers and trees and shops. Today it not only flows, it swings.

It took time and careful planning to create the foreign, garden atmosphere of the river.

The shopping is as superb as it is varied: it’s mod, mad, Mexican, modish. There is even a high-style ladies’ emporium in the ultramodern Hilton Palacio del Rio, where the chic-minded can browse among the body furnishings with a full view of the river through a two-story sheet of bronzed glass.

The San Antonio River slips romantically along the tree-shaded walkways of El Paseo del Rio.

In 1962, before the river renaissance, 1 1/2 million visitors came to San Antonio; for 1971, the estimate is not less than 6 million."

Official website: here
Current aerial view
Resource links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

this, quite possibly, is the best blog EVER.

Fri Jun 01, 09:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Cody S. said...

And in 1989 Rivercenter Mall opened on the Riverwalk with a Lord and Taylor, now Macy's and Dillard's, along with an AMC. Still going strong with San Antonio's tallest building the Marriott Rivercenter attached to it, a renovation is underway.

Sat Jun 02, 03:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not possibly, umbrella shoppe, it IS. So many great memories and pictures here my mind boggles.

Sat Jun 02, 08:05:00 AM  
Anonymous jay (j) said...

Glad these proved useful, Keith.

The River Walk is definitely on my list of places to visit. I've heard so much about it over the years.

Sat Jun 02, 01:11:00 PM  
Anonymous didi said...

I think I read about this place in my high school Spanish class freshman year. There's a "Dime" book about the riverwalk floating around somewhere in ancient text book land.

Sat Jun 02, 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Hmm, well now you KNOW I'm gonna start looking for that book, Didi, hehe.

Thanks for the additional notes, Cody, and thanks as well to Umbrella Shoppe Collectibles and Anonymous, for those nice comments. :)

And thanks again for the great pics, Jay!

Sat Jun 02, 06:59:00 PM  
Blogger Cora Buhlert said...

i visited San Antonio a couple of years after those pictures were taken and walked along that river. It is indeed a very lovely place.

Sat Jun 02, 07:38:00 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

I was there sometime in the early 80s and thought the boats were so cool. I remember wishing I was old enough to hang around there without my parents. Alas, we didn't live in Texas long enough for me to get my driver's license...


Wed Aug 22, 12:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Diane said...

That's classic River Walk right there! Back before it began transforming itself into something more monotonously chain retail-y and anonymous. It looked like that well into the '80s, too, but when the Hard Rock Cafes and Planet Hollywoods started encroaching on its space in the end of that decade/the beginning of the '90s, it started looking less groovy and more "tourist trap"-y. But, you know, it's the centerpiece of one aspect of my city that remains forever unique (i.e. we actually have parades on the river!), so in that respect, ok, it still rules.

Sun Nov 23, 10:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very very unique! What a cool place to shop!

They have built a POS shopping mall not far from me. It is a long story; the thing is about 90% finished but the investors backed out quite awhile ago; money for the rest of the project ran out. The project was stopped; it is now in financial limbo. Probably will not open.

It is an eyesore and ugly as homemade sin -- and I'm being kind when I use those words. It is too bad that something like the San Antoino River Walk wasn't designed and used for the concept of the POS mall that they built.

Tue Apr 19, 10:19:00 PM  

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