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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Antonio in Bexar County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

The Hugman Dam

 
 
The Hugman Dam Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 21, 2018
1. The Hugman Dam Marker
Inscription.  
Beautification of the San Antonio River was a long-time dream of local residents who urged city officials to improve the river through the downtown area. These efforts were just beginning when devastating floods caused widespread damage in 1913 and 1921. Only after a flood retention dam was completed north of the city across Olmos Creek, a major tributary of the river, did planners recommend comprehensive river improvements.

In 1929 local architect Robert H.H. Hugman presented the mayor with his Spanish-inspired plan to transform the meandering waterway with stone stairs and walkways, arched bridges, and river-level shops and restaurants. The Depression and local politics delayed the project, and Hugman's plans were not finalized until 1939. After two years of construction, a crowd of fifty thousand gathered to dedicate the River Walk on April 21, 1941. Here, at the northern end of Hugman's River Walk, water cascaded over a small stone and concrete weir and passengers embarked on river cruises at the boat landing just above the Fourth Street Bridge. The weir was modified in 2008 as part of the San Antonio River Improvements
Marker detail: Hugman's River Development Plan Drawing image. Click for full size.
Courtesy: Robert H.H. Hugman Drawings Collection, San Antonio Conservation Society Foundation
2. Marker detail: Hugman's River Development Plan Drawing
Robert Hugman's plans for the river development project included the smallest details. This drawing illustrates the dam as originally built here above the Fourth Street Bridge.
Click or scan to see
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Project to allow barge traffic to move upstream.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Man-Made FeaturesWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1929.
 
Location. 29° 25.909′ N, 98° 29.276′ W. Marker is in San Antonio, Texas, in Bexar County. Marker can be reached from Lexington Avenue north of Avenue A, on the right when traveling north. Marker and subject dam site are located on the San Antonio River Walk, on the north side of the river, 1/10 mile east of the Lexington Avenue bridge. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 110 Lexington Avenue, San Antonio TX 78205, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mayor Maury Maverick Mural (here, next to this marker); Missions in the San Antonio River Valley (a few steps from this marker); The River in the 1900s (a few steps from this marker); The San Antonio River (a few steps from this marker); River Communities (a few steps from this marker); The River in the 1800's (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named The San Antonio River (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Navarro Street Bridge (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Antonio.
 
Also see . . .
1. Robert Harvey Harold Hugman. Robert H. H. Hugman was the architect of San Antonio’s WPA River Walk, one of the world’s most distinctive urban linear parks. Robert Hugman realized that
Marker detail: Robert H.H. Hugman image. Click for full size.
Courtesy San Antonio Conservation Society Foundation
3. Marker detail: Robert H.H. Hugman
San Antonio-born architect Robert Hugman understood the important role the river had played in the city's history. His design provided a romantic and charming setting for new development.
the Great Bend could be freed from even low rising water if there were gates at each end, thus permitting businesses to open directly onto riverside walkways without fear of water flowing indoors. As the bypass channel was being completed in 1929, Hugman included such gates in a plan he called The Shops of Aragon and Romula. (Submitted on June 21, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Robert H.H. (Harvey Harold) Hugman. Hugman (1902-1980) was an architect who left his mark on the city of San Antonio with his plan for the beautification of the San Antonio River. Hugman was appointed architect for the project and work began in 1939. Although not as extensive as his original proposal, the WPA project resulted in the improvement of more than 21 blocks along the river including the construction of 17,000 feet of walkways, 31 stairways leading from 21 bridges, and the planting of more than 11,000 trees and shrubs. The construction of the Arneson River Theater, located alongside La Villita, represented the picturesque vision of what the Paseo del Rio could become. (Submitted on July 3, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Marker detail: Lewis Home & Hugman Dam image. Click for full size.
Courtesy: Zintgraff Collection, Institute of Texas Cultures, San Antonio
4. Marker detail: Lewis Home & Hugman Dam
Prominent local businessman and mill owner Nat Lewis built his home on this riverfront site in the 1850s. The house was demolished for construction of El Tropicano Hotel in 1962. The Hugman dam is seen in the photo on the right.
The Hugman Dam Marker (<i>backside of marker & unrelated mural, as seen from across the river</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 21, 2018
5. The Hugman Dam Marker (backside of marker & unrelated mural, as seen from across the river)
Hugman Dam (<i>view across San Antonio River from marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 21, 2018
6. Hugman Dam (view across San Antonio River from marker)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 29, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 21, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 139 times since then and 13 times this year. Last updated on July 9, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 21, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Aug. 3, 2021