At the 2017 Centropolitan Awards, three individuals were honored for their work powering the momentum of Downtown and raising San Antonio to an international level. David Straus, Pioneer of the River Walk Commission, Jim Hayne of 'The Landing', and Tom Frost Sr. of Frost Bank were the evening's Lifetime Achievement Honorees.
The idea for the retail transformation of the River Walk first came to David Straus in 1959. He formed the River Walk Commission and organized the architects and master plan to make it happen. Once development was underway, he formed the Paseo Del Rio (or River Walk Association) and tasked it with management of the space.
Jim Hayne founded 'The Landing' on the River Walk in 1963, which featured the now world-famous Jim Cullum jazz band. The Landing served as a cultural touchstone and the heart of San Antonio jazz for 50 years.
While work on the River Walk was underway, the city was preparing for a transformational event. Tom Frost's son, Don, recalled his father opening the morning paper every day in 1968 and reading the news about the World's Fair. An event he had made possible by securing the necessary capital. The Fair resulted in the creation of Hemisfair Park and the Tower of the Americas.
Projects like Hemisfair '68 and the San Antonio River Walk forever changed the trajectory of the city. Downtown became a destination for travelers around the world and a source of renewed pride for locals. The accomplishments of Straus, Hayne, and Frost have defined this city for decades, and serve as the bedrock for a vibrant future.