In two previous posts I showed the Museum Reach section which ends at the locks and you can find those posts here and here. Today we'll begin at the Brooklyn Avenue bridge just beyond the locks and dam and go south. This section marks a transition from the newer Museum Reach to the older section at Navarro Street on the north side of downtown.
We start today by looking north from the locks at the section covered in my last post.
Puente of Rippling Waters is an art installation on the Brooklyn Avenue bridge just south of the dam. Cutouts in the discs are designed to create patterns on the water below.
I am usually here on cloudy days because it it much more pleasant to walk and photograph when the sun is not so bright so I haven't yet captured the patterns.
Nearby is the McCullough Avenue bridge and the Puente de Encuentros or Bridge of the Encounters. It's a series of connected hands with cutouts which make patterns on the pavement. The hands are waving at the visitors on the river below.
Just enough sun to see the patterns along the top of the bridge.
Ornamental grasses are common landscape elements on this more modern section.
The Hugman Dam was built in 1941. After the San Antonio River flooded downtown in 1921 the city planned to install a system of culverts and pave over the river. R.H.H. Hugman, an architect, had a better idea and fortunately his vision for two parallel sidewalks along the river prevailed. Below you see ruins of the old dam.
The dam is cut through now to allow barges to continue on along the river.
A view to the north while standing on the dam....
...and to the south from the dam
This tile mural is about 80 years old and was created at a workshop near this site. The tile workshop created tile for mosaics and murals in both public and private spaces around the city. It was donated for installation here when the new section was completed in 2009.
The El Tropicano was the first hotel on the River Walk in 1962 and has seen a lot of famous guests. It was recently restored back to 1960s style.
The old municipal auditorium across the street is being renovated into a performing arts center.
Headed south again, the walk takes on a more tropical look. Though this area is listed as Horticultural Zone 8, much of the downtown River Walk feels more like Zone 9, with warmer microclimates created by the sunken river and walls.
The Lexington Avenue bridge has an art installation entitled "Shimmer Field". The thousands of dichroic strips are under the bridge and reflect the colors of the city around it.
Across the way is a beautiful faux bois arbor by artist Carlos Cortes, the work of three generations of his family graces many parks and private gardens in our city. We'll get a closer look on the way back north.
These four palms are gorgeous.
Native Turk's cap is planted along this wall.
Heading into the tropics.
This marks our turnaround for today so we'll head back north on the other side.
Bananas and palms along the way. There were bananas on the trees as a result of our milder winter.
A closer look at the faux bois arbor we saw from the other side.
Realistic and dreamy at the same time.
Details of the trunks, complete with carved heart on the left
Rusellia lining the river along the newer section.
Up ahead near Lexington Avenue and across from the El Tropicano Hotel are these stone markers with information on the history of the River Walk.
A copy of the drawing R.H.H. Hugman used to propose his plan to save the river in 1929. The area outlined in green on the left shows a proposed bypass of the river to avert flooding which allowed the river bend loop (shown here in white) through downtown to be developed commercially.
Under the Brooklyn Avenue bridge you can see the doors of the locks and the dam to the right.
The tile steps lead up to Brooklyn Avenue and also mark the end of the walk for today.
In my next post we'll walk from Navarro Street into downtown and the beginning of the Paseo del Rio.