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MARKER DATABASE
“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)
 

Commerce Street

 
 
Commerce Street Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 22, 2018
1. Commerce Street Marker
Inscription.
Life in San Antonio in the 1700s revolved around Main and Military plazas west of the river and Mission San Antonio de Valero (the Alamo) east of the river. Residents traveled between the plazas and mission along an unpaved street that led to a low river crossing. Later known as Commerce Street, the thoroughfare was lined with small houses and stores until the late 1800s when multi-story limestone and brick structures transformed downtown. To accommodate increased cross-town traffic, a narrow bridge was replaced by a wider iron span in 1890, and in 1914 the present concrete bridge was constructed. It was not until the early 1900s that city leaders began to clear the overgrown river to create a linear park. Architect Robert H.H. Hugman’s plans to further enhance the river with walkways and landscaping were implemented from 1939 to 1941. The River Walk attracted a few businesses, but it was not until HemisFair ’68 that the beautified walkway began to flourish. Today the River Walk is the city’s second most popular attraction.
 
Location. 29° 25.408′ N, 98° 29.271′ W. Marker is in San Antonio, Texas, in Bexar County. Marker can be reached from Losoya Street south of East Commerce Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker
Marker detail: Commerce Street, 1850s image. Click for full size.
Courtesy: Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo
2. Marker detail: Commerce Street, 1850s
Commerce Street is seen here as it appeared in the 1850s. The small wooden bridge, one of several periodically replaced after being damaged by floods, leads west across the river toward the plazas in the distance.
is on the San Antonio River Walk, just south of the Commerce Street Bridge, on the east side of the river. Marker can be accessed from the River Walk staircase on Losoya Street, near the "Torch of Friendship" plaza. Marker is at or near this postal address: 333 Losoya Street, San Antonio TX 78205, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Commerce Street Bridge (a few steps from this marker); Mr. & Mrs. Alfred Beyer (within shouting distance of this marker); 141st Infantry Regiment (within shouting distance of this marker); The Torch of Friendship (within shouting distance of this marker); Father of the River Walk (within shouting distance of this marker); 250th Anniversary of the Founding of San Antonio (within shouting distance of this marker); Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Acequias of San Antonio (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Antonio.
 
Also see . . .
1. Commerce Street at the San Antonio River. Located at the historic main ford between San Fernando De Bexar (the city) and San Antonio De Valero (The Alamo), the river crossing has long been a focal point of history for the city of San Antonio. In 1836, Albert Martin,
Marker detail: Commerce Street Bridge, 1907 image. Click for full size.
By Courtesy: Institute of Texan Cultures, San Antonio
3. Marker detail: Commerce Street Bridge, 1907
The iron truss bridge seen in this 1907 view of Commerce Street and the river was erected in 1890. Robert H.H. Hugman’s office was on the river level of the turreted Clifford Building during the 1940s.
an emissary from the Alamo met with one of Santa Anna's aides during a critical moment of the Texas War for Independence. In 1842, mayor John W. Smith hired R.T. Higginbotham to construct a timber bridge over the river. The present bridge replaced an 1880 iron truss bridge. The concrete bridge was constructed in 1915 as part of a major street improvement program that widened Commerce Street between the Main Plaza and Alamo Street. (Submitted on June 23, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. The History of Roads and Bridges in San Antonio. From San Antonio's very earliest days in 1718, the thoroughfare between the Alamo and San Fernando cathedral, now called Commerce Street, was the most important thoroughfare in the city. The first wooden bridge suitable for more than pedestrians and light carriages was built over the river in 1841. Replaced with a stronger wooden structure in 1867, Commerce Street was thronged with activity of all kinds. Freight trains of up to thirty wagons, each pulled by teams of oxen and mules, arrived and departed every day. Mixed into this would be street vendors and blacksmiths. The number of mules, horses and oxen must have made the air almost unbearable. Disease carrying flies filled the air. A stroll across Main Square full of grazing animals provided an entirely
Marker detail: Commerce Street Bridge, 1914 image. Click for full size.
By Courtesy: Institute of Texan Cultures, San Antonio
4. Marker detail: Commerce Street Bridge, 1914
Early efforts to beautify the river and protect adjacent buildings from flooding included the retaining walls and landscaped lawns seen in this 1914 image taken shortly after the new Commerce Street Bridge was completed. The bridge was built by Charles M. Schoenfeld.
different experience from today. (Submitted on June 23, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsParks & Recreational AreasRoads & VehiclesWaterways & Vessels
 
Commerce Street Marker (<i>wide view; overlooking the San Antonio River</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 22, 2018
5. Commerce Street Marker (wide view; overlooking the San Antonio River)
Commerce Street Bridge today (<i>view looking south, from north side of bridge</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 22, 2018
6. Commerce Street Bridge today (view looking south, from north side of bridge)
Access to marker (San Antonio River Walk) from Commerce Street Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 21, 2018
7. Access to marker (San Antonio River Walk) from Commerce Street Bridge
View of Market Steet Bridge (<i>looking south past Commerce Street marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 20, 2018
8. View of Market Steet Bridge (looking south past Commerce Street marker)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 4, 2018. This page originally submitted on June 23, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 41 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 23, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   7, 8. submitted on July 1, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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