One of the main ideas behind the plan of hosting a World’s Fair in San Antonio was it provided a unique oppertunity to redevelop and revitalize a section of downtown which had not seen strong activity since the American – Great Depression of the 1930’s. Early on in the planning phase of what would eventually become HemisFair ’68, city & business leaders reconized the need for a multi-building complex to accomodate a growing needs
The renovation of the HBGCC goes back to public workshops held by HPARC back in the spring of 2011. During this three part public process the plan materialized both thrur studys and public input to have the HBBG Convention Center undergo a two part renovation: a new state of the art addition to the eastern end and demolition of the original 47 year old western section to provide space for the new Civic Park at Hemisfair. By the time of HPARC’s creation in 2009 the center had undergone several expansions since its original construction as part of HemisFair ’68, however, by this time the sheer size of the complex also created some what restricted access to Hemisfair Park. From the main downtown district the only two ways to access the park was to walk around the center which can take approx. five to fifteen minutes, therefore, the removal of the original section of the center would open a 20+ acre parcel at the northwest corner of the site making park access all that much easier.
In 2012 the San Antonio City Council formally adopted the HHPARC masterplan for the overall redevopment of the site which included the HGBBCC renovation.
According to the City of San Antonio here is some of the basic information on the project:
Expansion Project Start – July 1, 2013
Expansion Project Completion – December 2015
Original Section Demolition – Sumer 2016
Construction Firms – Hunt-Zachry (Joint Venture)
Project Budget – $325 Million USD.
Below are some images I captured of the construction of the new eastern addition to the HBGCC. (Click on images for a closer look)
Below is a link to a YouTube video showing the new addition to the HBGCC. (Click on images to view video)