Hello. I’m Mayor Julian Castro and we welcome you to the historic San Antonio River Walk. We are glad you’ve decided to join us on the Historic Hugman River Walk Tour.
The San Antonio River Walk is an internationally recognized tourist attraction and one of the country’s most unique urban linear parks. With its winding, tree-lined walks, lush tropical landscaping, and array of restaurants, hotels, and shops, the River Walk provides a scenic destination for visitors and locals alike in the heart of the city. The River Walk is visited by millions every year and has been a model for other cities in the redevelopment of river corridors.
In 1929, a young architect named Robert H. H. Hugman began a visionary plan for the development of the San Antonio River from its natural state. In 1939, development of the River Walk commenced utilizing drawings by Robert Hugman and Edwin P. Arnesan based largely on Hugman’s earlier designs. In 1941, the River Walk officially opened with nearly 50,000 people attending the dedication ceremony. The completed River Walk design featured 17,000 feet of new sidewalks, 31 stairways, 3 dams, 4,000 shrubs and plants, and countless benches.
Today, the River Walk is consistently ranked among the nation’s top tourist attractions, bringing millions of visitors each year to San Antonio. Indeed, Hugman’s design is recognized as the genesis of the River Walk as we know it. His legacy to San Antonio will live on.
In recognition of Hugman’s vision for the River Walk, the City of San Antonio has installed more than fifty bronze plaques identifying original Hugman-designed features. The bronze plaque replicates the architectural seal used on Hugman’s original drawings. We invite you to explore San Antonio’s River Walk using this Historic Hugman River Walk Tour complete with text by renowned San Antonio historian Lewis Fisher and historic photos. Get lost in the history of Hugman’s River Walk…and enjoy your discovery!