Westin Hotels & Resorts
Westin Hotels & Resorts is an American upscale hotel chain owned by Marriott International. The Westin Brand has over 269 hotels in multiple countries; the first Westin branded hotel was established in 1981 when the company changed the name of Seattle’s Washington Plaza Hotel to the Westin Seattle adjacent to Westin headquarters in Seattle, WA. In 1930, Severt W. Thurston and Frank Dupar of Seattle, Washington met unexpectedly during breakfast at a diner in Yakima, Washington; the competing hotel owners decided to form a management company to handle all their properties, help deal with the crippling effects of the ongoing Great Depression. The men invited Peter and Adolph Schmidt, who operated five hotels in the Puget Sound area, to join them, together they established Western Hotels; the chain consisted of one in Boise, Idaho. Western Hotels expanded to Vancouver, British Columbia and Portland, Oregon in 1931, by 1941 into Alaska and California, assuming management of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed.
By the early 1950s, Western had properties in Montana and Utah. Early management developed each property individually. After more than two decades of rapid growth, many of its properties were merged into a single corporate structure in 1958, focusing on bringing the hotels together under a common chain identity. In 1958, Western Hotels assumed management of three hotels in Guatemala, its first properties outside the US and Canada. Western opened its first hotel in Mexico in 1961; that same year, they opened the first hotel to be both constructed and owned by the chain, The Bayshore Inn in Vancouver. Western Hotels president Edward Carlson is credited with bringing the Century 21 Exposition to Seattle in 1962. Carlson's own napkin sketch of a tower with a revolving restaurant on top, inspired by his visit to the Stuttgart TV Tower, was the origin of the Space Needle; the chain managed the restaurant atop the Space Needle from its opening until 1982. Western Hotels managed a floating hotel aboard the ocean liner QSMV Dominion Monarch, docked in Seattle harbor during the fair.
The company was renamed Western International Hotels in 1963, to reflect its growth outside the US. That same year, the company went public. From November 1, 1965 to 1970, Western International had an agreement with Hotel Corporation of America, under which all 72 hotels of the two chains were jointly marketed as HCA and Western Hotels. From 1968-1973, Western International had a similar joint marketing agreement with UK-based Trust House Hotels. In 1970, Western International was acquired by UAL Corporation, with Edward Carlson becoming president and CEO of UAL, Inc and United Airlines. Western International bought New York's iconic Plaza Hotel in 1975 for $25 million. On January 5, 1981, the company changed its name again to Westin Hotels. In 1987, UAL Chairman Richard Ferris announced a plan to reorganize UAL as Allegis Corporation, a travel conglomerate based around United Airlines, Hertz Rent a Car, Hilton Hotels, Westin and linked by Apollo; this strategy failed and Westin was sold in 1988 to Aoki Corporation of Japan.
In 1994 Aoki sold Westin to Starwood Capital, real estate investment firm and parent of Starwood Lodging, Goldman Sachs, an investment bank. In 1998 Starwood assumed full ownership of the company. Westin claims to have been the first hotel chain to introduce guest credit cards, 24-hour room service, personal voice mail in each room. In the early 21st century, Westin focused on global expansion. Since 2005, the number of hotels grew from 120 locations in 24 countries to over 192 locations in 37 countries as of 2013. Westin markets certain amenities available in its properties to the public under the brand name Heavenly. In 2005, Westin became the first hotel company to gain a national retail store presence when Nordstrom started carrying the Heavenly Bed line in more than 60 stores. Westin refreshed its partnership with United Airlines in 2008. United began offering pillows and blankets from Westin's Heavenly Bed line on select United premium service routes between New York City and California, as well as Westin decorations and scents in some Red Carpet Club lounges.
These amenities were stopped following the merger with Continental Airlines. Beginning in 2013, Delta Air Lines began an extensive partnership with Westin and Starwood Hotels, which included adding Westin Heavenly In-flight Bedding to all Delta One seats on international flight as well as transcontinental flights. In 2016, Marriott International acquired Starwood; the Westin Seattle The Westin Charlotte The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites Los Angeles Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa The Westin Peachtree Plaza Atlanta The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit The Westin Nova Scotian - Halifax, Nova Scotia The Westin Singapore - has the highest hotel lobby in Singapore The Westin Jakarta The Westin St. Francis - San Francisco hotel on Union Square The Westin Excelsior, Rome - The Villa La Cupola Suite, billed at US$30,000 per night, is listed at number 8 on World's 15 most expensive hotel suites compiled by CNN Go in 2012; the Westin Palace Madrid The Westin San Jose - Formerly the Saint Claire and Hyatt Saint Claire.
The Westin Hamburg - opened in 2016 and located in Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie concert hall The Westin Sydney The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali Walt Disney World Swan-Connected with the Walt Disney World Dolphin at Walt Disney World The Westin Bund Center Shanghai
Shops at Rivercenter
The Shops at Rivercenter is a shopping mall located in Downtown San Antonio, United States along the city's River Walk. It is anchored by Macy's, H&M, as well as a 1,001-room Marriott hotel; the mall was purchased in 2005 by Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation. The landmark 1871 St. Joseph's Catholic Church did not sell to the original developers, Joske's Department Store, in 1945, the store was built around it; the Shops at Rivercenter opened in 1988 as Rivercenter Mall, with San Antonio's first Lord & Taylor department store, an IMAX theater, as well as Dillard's. Part of the downtown redevelopment included an extension of San Antonio's famed River Walk into the Rivercenter lagoon. Lord & Taylor owned by May Department Stores, was converted into a Foley's in 1989. In 2006, the space became Macy's after Macy's parent, Federated Department Stores, bought May Department Stores; the structure that houses Dillard's, an AMC Theatres, as well as other shops opened in 1887 as a freestanding Joske's at the corner of Alamo and Commerce streets.
Several expansions from 1909 to 1953 brought the space to 551,000 square feet. Joske's closed the flagship store for remodeling in 1987, planning to reopen in 1988, to coincide with the Rivercenter opening, but Dillard's acquired the Joske's chain shortly. The massive flagship store was divided up, with Dillard's occupying only a portion of the five-level building; the remaining area of the building was converted into lease space and a retail atrium for Rivercenter and an AMC movie theater. With the division of the building into other uses, portions of the structure, including 200,000 sq ft. of space on the top two floors, as well as the old "bargain basement," remained unoccupied. In October 2006, plans were revealed to redevelop the property over a number of years. Five-star restaurants and more outdoor seating would be added in the first phase of redevelopment; the redevelopment of the Joske's space would be the next phase. The Joske's facade along Commerce Street would be restored, bringing back the windows and brick that were covered in one of Joske's own renovations before Rivercenter was built, tenants would be added for the vacant two upper floors.
A luxury hotel would be added in the last phase, forcing a multi-level parking garage to close, but another parking garage would be built on another part of the property. San Antonio's Historic and Design Review Commission approved the redevelopment plan on October 4, 2006. A grand re-opening is planned for 2008, it was reported in June 2008 that Ashkenazy purchased the historic Joske's building from Dillard's and plans to revitalize the landmark property as part of the property's redevelopment. In 2016 the old Joske's building was added as a new modern wing of the mall with notable tenants such as Dave & Buster's, H&M, Johnny Rockets; the mall was renamed to Shops at Rivercenter in the same year. The place contains 4 floors, under the first floor, there is a river level; this is the part of the mall. Rivercenter website Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation website New owner needed to breathe fresh life into downtown mall, San Antonio Business Journal, September 17, 2004. Rivercenter Mall will be put on sales block, San Antonio Business Journal, April 17, 1998
Denver the City and County of Denver, is the capital and most populous municipality of the U. S. state of Colorado. Denver is located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains; the Denver downtown district is east of the confluence of Cherry Creek with the South Platte River 12 mi east of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Denver is named after James W. Denver, a governor of the Kansas Territory, it is nicknamed the Mile High City because its official elevation is one mile above sea level; the 105th meridian west of Greenwich, the longitudinal reference for the Mountain Time Zone, passes directly through Denver Union Station. Denver is ranked as a Beta world city by World Cities Research Network. With an estimated population of 704,621 in 2017, Denver is the 19th-most populous U. S. city, with a 17.41% increase since the 2010 United States Census, it has been one of the fastest-growing major cities in the United States.
The 10-county Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area had an estimated 2017 population of 2,888,227 and is the 19th most populous U. S. metropolitan statistical area. The 12-city Denver-Aurora, CO Combined Statistical Area had an estimated 2017 population of 3,515,374 and is the 15th most populous U. S. metropolitan area. Denver is the most populous city of the 18-county Front Range Urban Corridor, an oblong urban region stretching across two states with an estimated 2017 population of 4,895,589. Denver is the most populous city within a 500-mile radius and the second-most populous city in the Mountain West after Phoenix, Arizona. In 2016, Denver was named the best place to live in the United States by U. S. News & World Report. In the summer of 1858, during the Pike's Peak Gold Rush, a group of gold prospectors from Lawrence, Kansas established Montana City as a mining town on the banks of the South Platte River in what was western Kansas Territory; this was the first historical settlement in what was to become the city of Denver.
The site faded however, by the summer of 1859 it was abandoned in favor of Auraria and St. Charles City. On November 22, 1858, General William Larimer and Captain Jonathan Cox, both land speculators from eastern Kansas Territory, placed cottonwood logs to stake a claim on the bluff overlooking the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek, across the creek from the existing mining settlement of Auraria, on the site of the existing townsite of St. Charles. Larimer named the townsite Denver City to curry favor with Kansas Territorial Governor James W. Denver. Larimer hoped the town's name would help make it the county seat of Arapaho County but, unbeknownst to him, Governor Denver had resigned from office; the location was accessible to existing trails and was across the South Platte River from the site of seasonal encampments of the Cheyenne and Arapaho. The site of these first towns is now the site of Confluence Park near downtown Denver. Larimer, along with associates in the St. Charles City Land Company, sold parcels in the town to merchants and miners, with the intention of creating a major city that would cater to new immigrants.
Denver City was a frontier town, with an economy based on servicing local miners with gambling, saloons and goods trading. In the early years, land parcels were traded for grubstakes or gambled away by miners in Auraria. In May 1859, Denver City residents donated 53 lots to the Leavenworth & Pike's Peak Express in order to secure the region's first overland wagon route. Offering daily service for "passengers, mail and gold", the Express reached Denver on a trail that trimmed westward travel time from twelve days to six. In 1863, Western Union furthered Denver's dominance of the region by choosing the city for its regional terminus; the Colorado Territory was created on February 28, 1861, Arapahoe County was formed on November 1, 1861, Denver City was incorporated on November 7, 1861. Denver City served as the Arapahoe County Seat from 1861 until consolidation in 1902. In 1867, Denver City became the acting territorial capital, in 1881 was chosen as the permanent state capital in a statewide ballot.
With its newfound importance, Denver City shortened its name to Denver. On August 1, 1876, Colorado was admitted to the Union. Although by the close of the 1860s, Denver residents could look with pride at their success establishing a vibrant supply and service center, the decision to route the nation's first transcontinental railroad through Cheyenne, rather than Denver, threatened the prosperity of the young town. A daunting 100 miles away, citizens mobilized to build a railroad to connect Denver to the transcontinental railroad. Spearheaded by visionary leaders including Territorial Governor John Evans, David Moffat, Walter Cheesman, fundraising began. Within three days, $300,000 had been raised, citizens were optimistic. Fundraising stalled before enough was raised, forcing these visionary leaders to take control of the debt-ridden railroad. Despite challenges, on June 24, 1870, citizens cheered as the Denver Pacific completed the link to the transcontinental railroad, ushering in a new age of prosperity for Denver.
Linked to the rest of the nation by rail, Denver prospered as a service and supply center. The young city grew during these years, attracting millionaires with their mansions, as well as the poverty and crime of a growing city. Denver citizens were proud when the rich chose Denver and were thrilled when Horace Tabor, the Leadville mining millionaire, built an impressive business block at 16th and Larimer as well as the el
Chicago the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,716,450, it is the most populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area referred to as Chicagoland, the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States; the metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States, the fourth largest in North America and the third largest metropolitan area in the world by land area. Located on the shores of freshwater Lake Michigan, Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837 near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed and grew in the mid-nineteenth century. After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which destroyed several square miles and left more than 100,000 homeless, the city made a concerted effort to rebuild; the construction boom accelerated population growth throughout the following decades, by 1900 Chicago was the fifth largest city in the world.
Chicago made noted contributions to urban planning and zoning standards, including new construction styles, the development of the City Beautiful Movement, the steel-framed skyscraper. Chicago is an international hub for finance, commerce, technology, telecommunications, transportation, it is the site of the creation of the first standardized futures contracts at the Chicago Board of Trade, which today is the largest and most diverse derivatives market gobally, generating 20% of all volume in commodities and financial futures. O'Hare International Airport is the one of the busiest airports in the world, the region has the largest number of U. S. highways and greatest amount of railroad freight. In 2012, Chicago was listed as an alpha global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, it ranked seventh in the entire world in the 2017 Global Cities Index; the Chicago area has one of the highest gross domestic products in the world, generating $680 billion in 2017. In addition, the city has one of the world's most diversified and balanced economies, not being dependent on any one industry, with no single industry employing more than 14% of the workforce.
Chicago's 58 million domestic and international visitors in 2018, made it the second most visited city in the nation, behind New York City's approximate 65 million visitors. The city ranked first place in the 2018 Time Out City Life Index, a global quality of life survey of 15,000 people in 32 cities. Landmarks in the city include Millennium Park, Navy Pier, the Magnificent Mile, the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum Campus, the Willis Tower, Grant Park, the Museum of Science and Industry, Lincoln Park Zoo. Chicago's culture includes the visual arts, film, comedy and music jazz, soul, hip-hop and electronic dance music including house music. Of the area's many colleges and universities, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Chicago are classified as "highest research" doctoral universities. Chicago has professional sports teams in each of the major professional leagues, including two Major League Baseball teams; the name "Chicago" is derived from a French rendering of the indigenous Miami-Illinois word shikaakwa for a wild relative of the onion, known to botanists as Allium tricoccum and known more as ramps.
The first known reference to the site of the current city of Chicago as "Checagou" was by Robert de LaSalle around 1679 in a memoir. Henri Joutel, in his journal of 1688, noted that the eponymous wild "garlic" grew abundantly in the area. According to his diary of late September 1687:...when we arrived at the said place called "Chicagou" which, according to what we were able to learn of it, has taken this name because of the quantity of garlic which grows in the forests in this region. The city has had several nicknames throughout its history such as the Windy City, Chi-Town, Second City, the City of the Big Shoulders, which refers to the city's numerous skyscrapers and high-rises. In the mid-18th century, the area was inhabited by a Native American tribe known as the Potawatomi, who had taken the place of the Miami and Sauk and Fox peoples; the first known non-indigenous permanent settler in Chicago was Jean Baptiste Point du Sable. Du Sable arrived in the 1780s, he is known as the "Founder of Chicago".
In 1795, following the Northwest Indian War, an area, to be part of Chicago was turned over to the United States for a military post by native tribes in accordance with the Treaty of Greenville. In 1803, the United States Army built Fort Dearborn, destroyed in 1812 in the Battle of Fort Dearborn and rebuilt; the Ottawa and Potawatomi tribes had ceded additional land to the United States in the 1816 Treaty of St. Louis; the Potawatomi were forcibly removed from their land after the Treaty of Chicago in 1833. On August 12, 1833, the Town of Chicago was organized with a population of about 200. Within seven years it grew to more than 4,000 people. On June 15, 1835, the first public land sales began with Edmund Dick Taylor as U. S. Receiver of Public Monies; the City of Chicago was incorporated on Saturday, March 4, 1837, for several decades was the world's fastest-growing city. As the site of the Chicago Portage, the city became an important transportation hub between the eastern and western United States.
Chicago's first railway and Chicago Union Railroad, the Illi
Tower of the Americas
The Tower of the Americas is a 750-foot observation tower-restaurant located in the Hemisfair district on the southeastern portion of Downtown San Antonio, United States. The tower was designed by San Antonio architect O'Neil Ford and was built as the theme structure of the 1968 World's Fair, HemisFair'68, it was named as a result of a Name the Tower contest created by the executive committee. 68 people submitted the name. It was the tallest observation tower in the United States from 1968 until 1996, when the Las Vegas Stratosphere Tower was completed, it is the tallest building in San Antonio, the 27th-tallest building in Texas. The tower is located in the middle of the former HemisFair'68 site and has an observation deck, accessible by elevator for a fee. There is a lounge and revolving restaurant at the top of the tower that provides panoramic views of the city. Construction of the tower cost $5.2 million. The top house of the building was constructed at ground level and hoisted to the top of the poured concrete shaft.
As the top house was being hoisted into place, on October 30, 1967 some of the cables used to hoist it snapped, leaving it resting on and precariously tilted on the Tower’s shaft. Oil field pipes were used in lieu of cables to complete the job, it was completed in 18 months, though not quite in time for the fair's opening ceremonies held on April 6, 1968. It was opened to the public five days on April 11; the top house still had not been finished, with construction materials and lumber strewn about. In 2004, Landry's Restaurants, Inc. won the bid for a 15-year lease to manage and operate the property for its owner, the City of San Antonio. Landry's undertook an extensive $8 million renovation of the existing restaurant and lounge and observation deck and added a 4-D film "ride" called "Skies Over Texas," that gives the history of Texas in a film format. Additionally, Landry's spent another $4 million to add 200% more space for ground level attractions such as a gift shop and cafe. Renovations were completed and the tower re-opened with the new Eyes Over Texas Restaurant, Bar 601 and the Flags Over Texas observation deck on June 21, 2006.
The restaurant rotates and observation deck entry is included in the cost of a tower ticket. In September 2007, Landry's converted the Eyes Over Texas Restaurant into one of its Chart House outlets. Prior to Landry's, Frontier Enterprises operated the Tower of the Americas' restaurant for more than three decades. 750 ft to top of the antenna. 622 ft to top of roof. 579 ft to indoor observation deck. 560 ft to outdoor observation deck. 550 ft to restaurant and stationary level. Since 1970 the roof has hosted a 30-meter-tall tapered steel mast, used as support for three FM antennas. In 2007, the three individual antennas were replaced by a 16-bay master antenna that radiates all three FM signals including the HD signal for KQXT. Clear Channel Radio and Electronics Research Inc. headed up the project along with their contractors and involved the City of San Antonio and Landry's Restaurants. The new antenna system improved coverage for all three radio stations. An option existed for several years to add facilities for a move in signal on 97.7 to share the site.
This was organized by Bret Huggins and David Stewart of Rawhide Radio, LLC. Transmitters are located between the public areas of the observation deck and the revolving restaurant in equipment bays along with air conditioners and plumbing; the fastest recorded time up the tower's 952 steps is 5 minutes 18 seconds on January 29, 1981. List of tallest buildings in Texas List of Towers Tower Life Building List of revolving restaurants "A Guide to the San Antonio Fair, Inc. Records, 1963-1995". Texas Archival Resources Online. Retrieved Feb. 9, 2006. History of the Tower of the Americas research guide with archival photographs Tower of the Americas restaurant Emporis: Tower of the Americas Tower of the Americas at Structurae FCC-Entry
Phillip Duane Hardberger is an American politician and jurist who served as mayor of San Antonio, taking office in June, 2005. A Democrat, he was elected on a non-partisan ballot. Hardberger was born in Morton, the seat of Cochran County in West Texas, to Homer Reeves Hardberger and the former Bess Scott. In 1943, the family moved to Texas; as a youth, Hardberger worked in cotton gins. His mother, a native of Burnet County, taught school in O'Donnell for thirty-three years and was a 1955 graduate of Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Son Phil graduated the same year from Baylor University in Waco. Hardberger was reared in the Baptist Church, he has a younger sister, Jan Peranteau, born in 1945 in Lamesa, the seat of Dawson County in the Texas South Plains country. Hardberger said that his mother was "the single most cheerful person I've known, she loved the trees and flowers here in San Antonio and always had a positive spirit." After Baylor, Hardberger piloted the B-47 bomber. He was the executive secretary of the Peace Corps during the administration of U.
S. President John F. Kennedy, he was a special assistant to the director of the U. S. Office of Economic Opportunity under President Lyndon B. Johnson. In 1968, he married the former Linda Morgan, who in 1956 survived the sinking of the SS Andrea Doria, he would be appointed Associate Justice and Chief Justice of the Fourth Court of Appeals. As chief justice, he presided over the Littleton v. Prange case, invalidating marriages in the court's jurisdiction if the transgender partner is of the same birth sex, it also opened the option for some same-sex couples to marry as long as the two partners were assigned to the opposite sex at birth. Hardberger's decision to run for mayor in the fall of 2004 was somewhat of a surprise because no one without a city council background had been elected mayor of San Antonio in modern history, he defeated Councilman Julian Castro, his ultimate successor as mayor, in a runoff on June 7, 2005. Hardberger himself succeeded Ed Garza, prohibited by city statute from serving more than two two-year terms.
He was in office during the fall of 2005 when the New Orleans Saints were displaced as a result of Hurricane Katrina and set up their operations in San Antonio. The 2005 season was split between the Alamodome in San Antonio and LSU's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. Various media reports in the San Antonio Express-News indicated the owner and government officials in San Antonio were working behind the scenes concerning a possible permanent relocation to San Antonio. Hardberger pushed a strong verbal campaign to pursue the Saints. Other officials, including then-Texas Governor Rick Perry, had indicated they would support a relocation to San Antonio, including using funding to upgrade the Alamodome, or build a new stadium, it is disputed in some circles as to the amount of discussions that happened between Mayor Hardberger and the New Orleans Saints. According to the San Antonio Express-News, Mayor Hardberger encouraged Saints owner Tom Benson to sue the NFL and commissioner Paul Tagliabue to try to keep the team in San Antonio permanently.
No lawsuit was filed. Hardberger hasn't given up hope on another professional sports team though the Saints have returned to New Orleans when he said, "Sometimes dates do lead to marriage proposals. We don't have to be a one-franchise town." Hardberger went on to say,"I'm going to support the county judge on this Marlins thing," Hardberger says. "But I have not changed my mind about the NFL. Baseball is a great game, but there isn't any doubt in my mind that, if we're going to take on an additional professional franchise, the great majority of people here would like a football team."..."I am certain that we will wind up with an NFL team in the next few years. It is coming, if it's not the Saints, it will be somebody else." At the time Hardberger was first elected the city had been in talks with Major League Soccer to bring a franchise to the city as part of the league's continued expansion plans. Hardberger put an end to the talks. That's what I would tell MLS," contending that the deal did not make financial sense for San Antonio.
Hardberger was re-elected in May 2007 and completed his term in May 2009. One of his final acts as Mayor was to garner support to change the city's mayoral term limits from two to four two-year terms, he garnered 77% of the vote during his re-election in 2007 and left the mayor's office at the end of his second term with an approval rating of 86 percent. During his two terms in office he was instrumental in leading San Antonio's response to Katrina and Rita victims, growing San Antonio's park space with the acquisition of Voelcker Park and the new San Antonio River expansion, starting Haven for Hope as a new city facility for San Antonio's growing homeless population, setting the city on the road to being recognized as a green city as a result of its Mission Verde initiative, he was responsible for redeveloping Main Plaza to restore the city's original downtown center of government and society and for bringing on Sheryl Sculley as City Manager. In December 2009, in recognition of the former mayor's leadership and foresight in championing quality of life projects, the City of San Antonio announced it was changing the name of Voelcker Park to Phil Hardberger Park.
In January 2010, Hardberger became a shareholder at Cox Smith, the largest law firm in San Antonio and one of the leading business law firms in Texas. He supports the firm's Litigation, Public Law and Economic Development practices, is involved in the firm's external affairs and community relations. Hardber
La Villita Historic Arts Village is an art community in downtown San Antonio, United States. There are art galleries, stores selling souvenirs, custom jewelry and imported Mexican folk art, as well as several restaurants in the district. La Villita connects to its outdoor venue, the Arneson River Theatre, it is close to the Alamo, the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Rivercenter Mall, HemisFair Park, it is within walking distance of most downtown hotels. Located on the south bank of the San Antonio River, La Villita was one of San Antonio's first neighborhoods. In 1939, as ground broke on the San Antonio River Walk development, city officials led by Mayor Maury Maverick acted to preserve this part of San Antonio's history, it was a Native American settlement and a collection of primitive brush huts, called jacales, for the Spanish soldiers stationed nearby at the Mission San Antonio de Valero. After a flood in 1819 washed away most of the huts, more substantial adobe houses replaced them. Late in the 19th century, European immigrants from Germany and Italy moved into the area and soon became active in business and trades: retailers, bankers and craftsmen.
The variety of architectural styles seen in La Villita's buildings reflects the cultural mix, from the one-room homes of the poor to the larger houses of the prosperous. La Villita deteriorated into a slum in the early part of the 20th century. During the Great Depression, work began on the River Walk, a make-work project funded by the Works Progress Administration which came close to La Villita; the project, led by Mayor Maury Maverick, sponsored a companion effort in 1939 by the National Youth Administration to restore and preserve this colorful part of San Antonio's history. The NYA offered classes in crafts as part of its program. Today La Villita is an arts community, is included in the National Register of Historic Places listings in Bexar County, Texas; the galleries and shops found in one city block offer art by local and regional artists featuring oil paintings, watercolors, metal art, rock art, copperwares, jewelry, stained glass, regional folk art. During four nights of the Fiesta San Antonio each April, La Villita is host to a Night in Old San Antonio with dozens of booths grouped to offer fifteen areas for various kinds of food, such as Sauerkraut Bend, China Town, Irish Flat, the Mexican Market.
The outdoor festival, with its narrow streets decorated with paper flowers and papel picado attracts 85,000 celebrants, many wearing costumes and unusual hats. The event is a major fundraiser for the San Antonio Conservation Society. Twenty-seven houses or buildings are listed as notable in the district; some of these are notable individual listings. Official web site