One of the major avenues for UTSA’s future growth became apparent last fall, when the university announced that in partnership with local entrepreneur and philanthropist Graham Weston, The City of San Antonio, and Bexar County, the UTSA Downtown Campus would expand throughout the urban core as a distributed campus, bringing unprecedented amounts of academic and economic activity to downtown.
Downtown Houston Street embodies a lot of the center city’s momentum. New housing, retail, and tech jobs are just a few of the changes it has experienced over the past few years. We have noticed another big change: coffee shops. It seems like every other month a new local coffee purveyor comes to Houston Street. We wanted to highlight some and give you the insider secrets to experiencing San Antonio’s “Caffeine Corridor.”
“I’ve met a lot of good people and made a lot of great friends,” says Arturo Torres III, owner of Pub Run San Antonio. For the uninitiated: No, you do not have to run. “It’s a walking tour of the bars of Downtown San Antonio,” Arturo explains.
“I’ve been offered Barbecue to bring it to peoples’ houses,” jokes Centro Ambassador Jeff Cartmill, as he operates the All-Terrain Litter Vacuum (ATLV). It’s probably the most intriguing tool employed by the Centro Ambassador team. That’s why it appears as the focal point of the Official 2019 Centro San Antonio Fiesta Medal.
There’s a lot happening along the downtown section of Houston Street these days. From “The Spot on Houston” and “Lunch Break” events to new creative office space, retail, and culinary options, there’s a lot to be excited about. So we thought we’d put together a list of some of our favorite Houston Street highlights.
He remembers this concept playing out one day near the Buckhorn Museum, when Bob spotted a man who appeared ill. “I was a firefighter paramedic,” he explains. “So I know when people aren’t doing well.” Luckily, Bob was able to escort the man, who was diabetic, to the nearest Walgreens to acquire the insulin he desperately needed. Once the man had taken his medicine, Bob walked with him back to his hotel. “You do what you gotta do,” says Bob, “You’re out there to help people.”
So you’ve got some time off this Spring. What do you do? Christina Olivarez and Stefanie “Stenny” Amezcua want you to look at what Downtown San Antonio has to offer. We explored some spots with them and even got to witness some of their downtown firsts!
The Burns Building was once a facet of the iconic retail district along Houston Street in the early-to-mid 20th Century. However, Hugh Burns (for whom the building is named) originally intended it to be a “splendid office building,” as the Rivard Report recounted in 2017. Thanks to an ambitious downtown developer, the building is recapturing some of its retailing spirit while achieving the vision of its founder.
Today, cultures meet at this place in a very different way. “We are a cosmopolitan oasis,” says Suhail Arastu, Director of Advancement at Musical Bridges Around the World, “We should recognize and promote that.” One of the many ways Musical Bridges is doing just that is through their programming at San Fernando Cathedral.