Hemisfair Park434 S. Alamo St.
San Antonio, TX 78205
This 15-acre downtown park with a vibrant past was originally known as "Barrio de Valero." Fed by the Acequia Madre, the lush green space was home to many of the first Tejano settlers when San Antonio was the capital of Spanish Texas. The neighborhood was condemned by the city for HemisFair ’68. This world’s fair celebrated the close relationship of nations in North and South America through trade and culture, with a significantly greater representation from Latin American countries than previous events. HemisFair was also distinguished by the adaptive reuse of historic buildings on site, a significant departure from previous world’s fairs and urban renewal projects. The fairgrounds captured the attention of the world and spurred San Antonio’s now-thriving tourist industry, creating a new civic center with a convention hall, federal courthouse, park space, and River Walk extension.
Renamed Hemisfair Park in 1988, several buildings from HemisFair '68 can still be visited, including the Institute of Texan Cultures (formerly the State of Texas Pavilion), Instituto Cultural de Mexico (formerly the Mexico Pavilion), and the landmark Tower of the Americas. This 622-foot observation tower and restaurant designed by architect O’Neil Ford was built as the signature structure of HemisFair '68. Juan O’Gorman’s giant mural, named after the official theme of the fair (“The Confluence of Civilizations in the Americas”), can be seen on the Lila Cockrell Theater at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center.