Looking back 50 years ago, San Antonio was a city of about 600,000 and growing. This growth brought about the need for new facilities and improvements to the infrastructure. The economy was becoming more diversified. And yet some of the older enterprises like the tourist industry were becoming increasingly important. It was in 1962 that the city gave a big boost to tourism when it decided to hold HemisFair ’68.
These photographs were taken by staff photographers at the San Antonio Express-News to accompany daily news articles. The images illustrate both change and continuity in the city between then and now.
Construction of the Southwest Texas Methodist Hospital, the first hospital in the South Texas Medical Center, March 16, 1962. MS 360: E-0008-76-1.
Opening of the final section of I-35 in Bexar County, May 3, 1962. Billed locally as the “Highway of Tomorrow,” it was the first expressway in Texas to cross an entire county. MS 360: E-0008-111-3.
Police Chief George Bischel (right) at entrance to new Police Headquarters on W. Nueva Street, May 9, 1962. MS 360: E-0008-113-3.
Restoration of the Jose Antonio Navarro Homestead, July 6, 1962. In the background is the Bexar County Jail in the final stages of construction. MS 360: E-008-135-1.
Beautification of Main Plaza, October 13, 1962. MS 360: E-008-173-2.
U.S. Representative Henry B. Gonzalez (right) inaugurates Accelerated Business Collection and Delivery mail service, guaranteeing same-day mail delivery in the local area, October 16, 1962. MS 360: E-0008-174-1.
Brig. Gen. Carroll D. Dunn, Chief Engineer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Southwest Division, inspects flood control project southwest of downtown, November 2, 1962. MS 360: E-0008-186-1.
Looking north on Alamo Street from Market Street, November 13, 1962. A few years later, the buildings in the foreground were demolished so that the San Antonio River could be extended to the HemisFair ’68 site. MS 360: E-0008-194.