Though the construction of San Antonio City Hall didn't begin until 1889 and wasn't completed until 1891, it is located in the center of Military Plaza, a site which dates all the way back to 1722, when this area was first established by the Spanish settlers. In 1820, Moses Austin arrived here seeking land grants from the Spanish government for Anglo-American colonists. Later, the Plaza became home to a popular open air market, home of the legendary Texas "chili queens." Upon completion of the Italianate Renaissance Revival-style building, designed by St. Louis architect, Otto Kramer, the character of the Plaza changed and the once bustling atmosphere disappeared.

Fortunately, the area now referred to as Market Square has been returned to its former vibrancy and is host to many community events, including Cinco de Mayo and Día de los Muertos festivities.

As one of the nation’s oldest public buildings in continuous use, San Antonio City Hall has been home to more than a century of civic action. On March 8, 1937, Workers Alliance leader, Emma Tenayuca, led a parade of 2,000 protestors to the steps of City Hall (pictured in gallery above) to demand more Works Progress Administration jobs for her community. Tenayuca is most well known for organizing San Antonio's famous Pecan Shellers' Strike of 1938, when 12,000 pecan shellers—mostly Hispanic women—walked out of their jobs to protest poor working conditions and low pay. The strike went on for three months and is largely regarded as one of the first actions of the Mexican American labor movement of the 20th century.

San Antonio City Hall

100 Military Plaza #4 San Antonio, Texas 78205