The Pearl is named for the former Pearl Brewery which operated for over 100 years until it closed in 2001. The site was purchased by Christopher Goldsbury and his Silver Ventures investment firm. Mr. Goldsbury--one of six billionaires who call San Antonio home--made his money from Pace Foods, the company which helped make salsa America's number one condiment. Now that The Pearl is coming together, I am amazed by his vision and community investment which has created a wonderful urban destination for locals and tourists.
Let's get walking around the new plaza. The Second Empire style former brewhouse built in 1894 is now a guest room tower at Hotel Emma. Photos of guest rooms show those awesome curved windows from the inside and the cupola is now a two-story guest suite.
Recycled pieces from the brewery form a tiered fountain in the plaza. Just ahead is the entrance to Southerleigh a new restaurant adjacent to the hotel.
Shady seating set on gravel invites relaxation.
Austin-based Christy Ten Eyck designed the Texas casual landscape.
Cement planters with wood form imprints sport cascading purple heart, fluffy bamboo muhly, and silvery palms. Drought tough plants that are common to local residential landscapes make hard-edged concrete comfortable. Wood form imprints are visible on walls and ceilings throughout the hotel as well.
Existing screen structure left in place as focal point and sculpture
Brightly blooming Bougainvillea at its feet provides a softening effect.
Familiar, yet unique. A typical San Antonio tiered fountain courtyard rendered differently with recycled industrial metal instead of traditional concrete.
Color echoes unify plaza and buildings.
More of those important color echoes in recycled industrial metal placed as sculpture.
I loved this. Converted tank planters serve as bollards to keep vehicles off the plaza or walkers from accidentally stepping into the roadway since there's no elevation change and few visual clues.
Across the road hardscape and gravel gives way to a lawn with softening plants at the corners.
The old Pearl Brewery admin building dated 1904 is now Cured, a popular restaurant.
Those same warm color echoes from the plaza unite shops with apartments above for convenient urban living.
That iconic Pearl smokestack is visible from I-35 and the river.
The old stable building is now used for special events.
Silvery cones form on bald cypress.
The Pearl, it has become a real destination in San Antonio.
Oh, very nice! I love all of the repurposed industrial materials, especially that fountain, and I also love that there are so many structures to create some much-needed shade in the summer. Plus adding walls and roofs, even transparent, really makes it cozy on a human scale. I bet with good lighting, it'd be a great place to hang out in the evening, too.ReplyDelete
I should check out the lighting. Human-scale is the key, especially when attracting local residents.Delete
Fun re-use, and I really love Ten Eyck's work. I'll be sure to visit the Pearl next time I'm in San Antonio. Actually, I may need a weekend there to see everything I've been meaning to see.ReplyDelete
At least a weekend or two for sure, there's a lot new and old to see.Delete
Great tour. Looks like a nice place to hang out. I really like the look of Hotel Emma in the prior post.ReplyDelete
Hotel Emma is so inviting too. The staff welcomed our gawking and questions.Delete
Thanks for the tour. I can't wait to get back to San Antonio. And each time you show these updates, improvements, and preservations, I'm more drawn to the city.ReplyDelete
We'd love to have you visit, c'mon down. The weather's good all winter.Delete
I was there back during Memorial Day weekend, the great flood weekend. The Mexican restaurant, La Gloria, was good enough that we ate there twice! Unfortunately a lot of the stores were closed during the evening hours when we visited, but it was still a lovely walk. The ice cream shop was also really good!ReplyDelete
I think what I loved most was that it was so walkable to get from the more central downtown area up to the Pearl area.
It is an easy walk along the river or you can always hail the Rio Taxi and ride back! The Pearl features locally owned small businesses which I love but they do keep shorter hours.Delete
The landscaping is wonderful and I couldn't get over how pristine the walkways and plaza were in your photos. That's not something you'd see in downtown LA!ReplyDelete
The Pearl is upscale and privately maintained so that makes a difference. We have our share of city sidewalks and even that famous River Walk has issues with too many birds.Delete
What a great place. Loved the room pictures and your outdoor shots are fab. Is the hotel large enough to be a fling venue? Wow! Does the San Antonio chamber of commerce know what an asset you are to your city. You've shown us so many beautiful parts of your city that I really want to visit!ReplyDelete
Of course you meant garden blogger fling? I'll have to check with all the other San Antonio bloggers. You're welcome to visit, so many amazing gardens to show you.Delete
Another reason (many reasons, actually!) to visit San Antonio. Especially love the recycled industrial metal -- looks perfect with the terrific landscaping and the architecture. Great photos, great post!ReplyDelete
We were at The Pearl complex almost a decade ago at the culinary school which was hosting a student competition in its kitchens. It was not nearly so well connected at that time to the riverwalk, but the emerging development plan showed great promise. (Which as you note, is being realized at a steady pace!)ReplyDelete
As opposed to Austin, where people felt growth could be discouraged by a lack of planning, San Antonio continues to lead the way with urban planning and infrastructure investments that will be wowing guests and residents alike for years to come. Well done San Antonio, and thanks to you Ms. Shirley for sharing so many of these success stories. Absolutely inspirational!