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Texas history: How the San Antonio River Walk came to be

San Antonio River Walk
San Antonio River Walk (Getty Images)

While the San Antonio River Walk does attract millions of visitors every year, it wasn’t intended for the purpose of tourism.

According to the City of San Antonio, the local government had plans to convert the River Walk into a storm sewer system to help prevent major flooding in the area during the 1920s.

According to an article by Mental Floss revealing refreshing facts about the San Antonio River Walk, the government took action following a 1921 hurricane that flooded more than a thousand acres of land and resulted in 50 people dying.

Despite officials’ plans to convert the River Walk for the use of flood control, a petition by citizens stopped their efforts.

As a result of San Antonio citizens’ pleas to save the waterway, the San Antonio Conservation Society was founded.

It wasn’t much longer until an architect named R. H.H. Hugman began developing plans for improvements that included a River Walk, according to the City of San Antonio.

According to Mental Floss, it was these developments that led to the first iteration of a river-adjacent pedestrian walkway similar to what Texans know it as today.


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