Draft #2 - July 19, 1996
In preparation for the Charrette, the Design
Team identified the following existing conditions on the site in an initial
work session. These conditions mostly reflect development of the site since
The Natural Environment
- Riverine and riparian coastal plane. Relatively flat topography gently
rising from the river channel. Very flat slopes. 80 feet elevation change
across study area. River channel runs roughly to the south with east/west
Water and Water Ways
- San Antonio River channel major waterway:
- In the 1950's the Army Corp of Engineers created a channelized condition
leaving a remnant ox bow that receives river water in a regulated flow.
- Underground Water: Edward's Aquifer with mineral springs.
- South east winds.
- Cold air drainage at night along the river channel.
- Up river breeze during the day.
Flora & Fauna
- Riparian dominated habitat (pecans, elms, mesquite, huisache, china
- Influenced by .270 years of settlement.
- Virtually no native vegetation.
- South Texas Plains eco-region fauna.
- Coastal Plain.
- Southern extent of Great Plains and northern boundary of Chihuahuan
The Built Environment
- Relatively undeveloped. Public land dominated by park use, major thoroughfares
have strip commercial with some light industrial.
- Major thoroughfares bisect the study area and connect with the interstate
highway system. A rail line runs along the eastern edge. Stinson Airfield
is adjacent to the area. Hike, bike, and horse trails run along the river.
Public bus routes run along all four boundary streets.
- Channelization of the San Antonio River.
- City utilities, streets, drainage.
- National Park Service, Army Corp. Of Engineers. TXDot, Texas National
- Conservation Commission, City of San Antonio, San Antonio River Authority,
- Historic Design Review, San Antonio Parks and Recreation, Bexar County.
- Human habitation for over 9,000 years. Spanish colonization of aboriginal
people began in 1721. Spanish brought irrigation farming to the region.
Descendants of the mission Indians still in the area. Very little development
after the 1950's. The area has the oldest water right in the State of Texas.
- Surrounding neighborhoods are mostly low to moderate income.
- Native American, Mission Indians, German Colonial, Spanish Colonial.
- San Jose Neighborhood Association.
- Surrounding area is single family houses and local services. Brooks
Air Force Base is the closest major employer.
- ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS &
During the initial work session, the following
environmental concerns and resources were identified:
AN ISLAND IN TIME: A CREATIVE
AND REGENAERATIVE CAMPUS
- Habitat & Vegetation
- Open Space
- River Actions & Former Path
- River Bank Slope
- Thermal Water Source
- Views & Vistas
- Water Quality
- Aboriginal Sites
- Districts -Historical
- Historical Sites
- Landmarks Signify Places
- Public Lands: Federal, State, City, County, Church
- Bus Rates
- Community Districts
- Hike & Bike Trails
- Industrial Districts
- Neighborhood Living
- Other Land Use
- Proposed Mission Trails
After discussions of these issues, the idea
of the site being developed as a creative and regenerative campus creating
a sustainable development on the banks of the San Antonio River with experimental
activities for local users, guests and visitors, emerged as a concept for
Creating a sustainable development on the banks of the San Antonio river,
with experiential activities of local users, guests and visitors.
Using the concept of a creative campus for local
users, guests, and visitors, the following matrix was developed to identify
links between users, types of development, and possible benefits:
An Authentic Interpretation
Well and River
Peace and Quiet
What Elements may develop out of the audience Living Here, Working
Here, Worshipping Here & Visiting Here?
- Acequias as resource
- Aqua culture
- Commercial Services
- Community Gardens
- Food Service
- Links to Schools, Colleges & Universities
- Parks & historic District
- Coop Joint Research Programs.
- Links to Schools, Colleges & Universities
- Office Space
- Research Park
- Demonstrations (Farms, Environmental Excellence
- Spa as Destination Resort
- Trails Birding
- Visitor Facilities
USE OF WATERS FOR:
- Agriculture (NPS Lands)
- Art & Sculpture Park (Water Gardens)
- Cultural Tourism (Cultural Hydrotherapy)
- Demonstration (Hydroponics)
- Ecotourism (Birds And River)
- Health (Cold & Thermal Water Treatments)
- Interpretation (Acequias)
- Irrigation (Hot Wells Herb & Flower Gardens)
- Transportation (Canoes)
- Health and Healing (The Waters)
- Heritage of Community and Institutions
- History of spaces and places
- Horticulture and Natural Systems (i.e. not "a Disneyland' exhibition)
- Brooks AFB
- Downtown Hotels
- Edwards Underground Water District (EUWD) Water Resource Camp for Kids
- Green Brigade
- Mission Trails
- Neighborhood to Park lands
- Neighborhood to River
- San Antonio River Authority (SARA)
- Schools, Colleges & Universities
- Zones to City
In a final work session, before the Charrette,
a program was developed for the site and two specific facilities: a hotel,
conference center, culinary institute, a spa and chataqua on the Hot Wells
site and a community center.
- Agricultural Land/organic sustainable
- Bat Towers
- Bird watching
- Commercial Spaces and Services
- Community Center & Gardens
- Computer Facilities
- Conference/Convention Facilities
- Day Care
- Demo Farm
- Detention Ponds
- Hospital (State Hospital)
- Learning Labs
- Marsh Filtration
- Medical Clinic
- Office Spaces
- Parks, Picnics, and Walks
- Pollution Treatment
- Ponds & Pools
- Post Office
- Public Market & Specialty St'opping
- Spa and Health Resort.
- Sports Courts and Fields
- Teaching Facilities
- Themed Environments
- Transportation Alternatives
- Visitor Center
FACILITIES AND BUILDINGS
Program for Community Center and Gardens
- Cultural Events (theater, music, etc.)
- Green Brigade (Agricultural Demonstration Projects)
- Nature Center (Ecotourism)
- Equestrian Activities
- Aquatic Education Projects
- Garden Outdoor Atmosphere
- Art and Sculpture Park (Water Gardens)
- Canoe Trails
- Bird Trails
- Craftmaking and Artisan Demonstrations
- Interpretive History and Cultural Activities
Program for Hotel Site 1
- 250 Hotel Rooms
- One large Meeting Room
- Three small Conference Rooms
- Administration Services
- Culinary Institute
- Teaching Kitchen
Program for Hot Wells Spa Site 2
- 25 Cabins
- Bath House
- Steam Room
- Excercise Room
- Changing Room
- Outside Pools
- Dining Facility
- Meeting Rooms
- Teaching Kitchen
- Excercise Area
- Outdoor Covered
- Parking Area for day and over night guest
- Added Cabins
- Expanded Spa Facilities
AN ISLAND IN TIME
- Bachtel Corporation Think Tank Campus
- Baden-Baden, Germany
- Corpus Christi 050 Creek
- Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad), Czech Republic
- Pagosa Springs, Colorado
- SA Botanical Center
- SA River south of Espadea
- Ten-Thousand Waves, Sante Fe, New Mexico
- Goals of Zone always include sustainability & natural compatibility
- Develop long term plan1 pace & controlled growth
- Master Planning Sites in terms of Zone
- Developers must be married to the overall concept (This is not a land
flip get rich quick deal)
- Land Covenants
On the day of the Charrette, the design team
developed design strategies, a mission statement, a list of floor appropriate
to the site and fauna that would benefit from the proposed development
as well as all of the drawings in this report.
1. To protect and enhance the natural, cultural and historical environment.
a. Re-establish the natural riparian corridor along the old river channel.
- create greater flow to provide cleansing mechanism while protecting
the area from floods
b. Establish riparian vegetation along the main river channel.
- planting of riparian species
- selective regrading to soften the land form of the river bank
c. Maintain and restore aquatic and terrestrial habitats.
- include vegetation and necessary elements for habitat of the aquatic
and terrestrial species
- provide for mix of successional species of grasses, scrub vegetation,
d. Establish wetlands.
- dam water to create canoeable marsh land
e. Promote the use of natural resource education and demonstration projects.
- work with universities and institutions such as the Center for Environmental
Excellence to initiate research projects
- coordinate with Green Brigade and other organizations to develop agricultural
demonstration projects and community gardens
- develop a "walking" garden
- provide interpretive features at points of natural interest (ie. hot
wells, acequia, etc.)
- develop a nature center
f. Protect scenic vistas.
- ensure the height of development does not interfere with the view of
Mission San Jose
- development along the river should be aesthetically compatible with
the scenic surroundings of the river
- develop an urban corridor overlay zone along Roosevelt St.
- create landscape business corridors
- incorporate public art into the scenic vista
g. Restore and preserve the San Juan Acequia.
- initiate the revitalization of the channel
- develop a dam to pump water into the old river channel and acequia
- develop a significant interpretive site
- Design, develop and operate the natural therapeutic resources
of the Hot Wells.
- redevelop the Hot Wells property
2. To support the quality of life within the neighborhood.
a. Provide healthy and secure neighborhood and family gathering places.
- develop a community center
- develop a master plan for the park area integrating the community center,
an art and sculpture water
- gardens, amphitheater and bird trails
b. Facilitate positive interaction between visitors and residents.
- provide safe access of the river to all citizens
- ensure tourism related industry is compatible with existing land uses
and the needs of the neighborhood
c. Provide recreational, natural and cultural activities.
- develop a canoe/kayak trail
- create safe public access to the river and across the river
- create a bridge connecting the Eastside open space park area to the
Westside park areas
- develop a hike and bike trail
- develop an equestrian path and activities
- provide amenities for hikers, bikers, and canoers
d. Design transportation centers and routes compatible with existing
neighborhood, cultural and natural destination features.
- locate bus amenities and centers in area that do not interfere with
- continually review and maintain the transportation arteries within
and leading to the area
- provide for alternative methods of transportation with minimal impact
on the natural, cultural and historical
- resources of the area
- improve pedestrian and bicycle safety
- installation of traffic signals to reduce accidents and slow traffic
in certain areas
- develop traffic patterns to enhance commercial activity and neighborhood
patronage of local businesses
e. Maintain a clean and secure neighborhood.
- provide horseback patrol
- provide bicycle patrol
- increase number of park rangers and frequency of patrolling
- ensure security by design (i.e. fencing, lighting, location of amenities,
use of anti-graffiti materials, etc.
- control access to the river in the evening hours (ie. gate closures
on river parkway)
- ensure maintenance of the parks and general area by appropriate entities
(ie. Natl. Park Svc., City of SA,
- Bexar Co., SA River Authority, and private owners)
- continue voluntary efforts such as "Basura Bash" adopt -
a - river to clean
- place devices to capture trash from the river and provide for maintenance
- institute cellular-on-patrol and neighborhood watch programs
- rehabilitate substandard housing
3. To support through sustainable economic development.
a. Establish a comprehensive community advisory board and task force
of neighborhood citizens, private
- developers, government agencies, and other planning professionals in
the ongoing design and development of
- destination plans for the area.
- work with Mission San Jose Neighborhood and other neighborhood associations
- encourage the creation of a Mission Trails/Area business owners association
- cultivate relationships with representatives from federal, state and
- rezone properties with land uses incompatible with the area
b. Partner with the Chambers of Commerce to develop economic plans.
- prepare an economic master plan available to potential developers include
suggestions for types of
- businesses that would enhance and be compatible with the area
- Develop viable training, manufacturing, recycling, and economic profit
centers for training, employment, building materials and regenerative activities.
Our mission is to cultivate and
nurture an appreciation and understanding for the natural, cultural and
historical environment of the Mission San Jose/Hot Wells Park area.
The Study Area Site Plan attempts to create a place
where water is used for the original secular activities of Mission San
Jose (teaching, farming, and improving the living standards of local residents)
as well as creating a destination that will dramatically change San Antonio's
perception of the area. The plan accomplishes these missions with the following
- Revitalize the flood control channel into an attractive,
functioning river with improved water quality, lower maintenance, and better
flood control capabilities.
- Develop the site as a major recreation node in
the linear park that follows the river from downtown to Mission Espada.
- Expand the hike and bike trails being built by
the Mission Trails Project.
- Provide teaching facilities to train local residents
for higher income jobs in San Antonio's tourism industry.
- Link the environmental research mission of Brooks
Air Force Base with one of Mission San Jose's original purposes of teaching
irrigation based farming by providing educational facilities that teach
environmental and health classes for residents and visitors.
- Provide better commercial and residential development
at the perimeter of the site.
- A community center is currently planned and funded
for the area. The community center's functions should include environmental
education for neighborhood residents and city wide groups like the Boy
Scouts and Girl Scouts. The community center should be linked to the east
bank and neighborhoods to the east by a pedestrian bridge and east bank
SITE 1 - CONFERENCE CENTER
HOTEL AND CULINARY INSTITUTE
The north west corner of the study area is an approximately
90 acre underdeveloped parcel of land with a drainage swell bisecting the
site from northwest to southeast. This site is adjacent to the Mission
San Jose compound and is on Roosevelt Avenue, a State Highway, and major
north/south street that links the site to downtown, Riverside Golf Course,
Brooks Air Force Base, and Stinson Airport.
San Jose currently receives 1 million visitors
a year. This number should increase with the completion of the National
Parks Service Visitors Center and the Mission Trails project which expands
the Riverwalk hike trail from downtown to all of the Missions and clearly
marks a vehicular path connecting the missions with the interstate highway
system. A destination oriented hotel that takes advantage of their location
and surrounding amenities is very feasible.
A Conference Center is an appropriate addition
to the hotel so that it can generate both destination oriented and tourist
business. The proximity of Brooks Air Force Base and its expanding environmental
research mission, and the increasing interest in education related resorts
similar to Chataqua, New York makes this facility highly desirable.
The Culinary Institute adjacent to the hotel and
conference center seeks to train residents for profitable jobs in the tourism
industry rather than low paying service jobs. The experimental farm next
to the culinary institute is a cook's garden, recalling the farm originally
useful to "Chataqua" programs on organic farming for both the
hotel and the spa.
As a final tie into the community, a small open
air market is located at the corner of White and Roosevelt to provide a
home for the current pickup truck based vegetable merchants, and a more
active, pedestrian oriented transit stop.
SITE 2 - HOT WELLS SPA
The Hot Wells Spa is a low scale development centered
around the historic spa building and hot mineral water artesian well. The
goal of the development is to create a destination oriented spa for local
and out of town visitors that features hydrotherapy and compatible educational
facilities for visitors.
The spa is meant to grow over time as the business
expands and the business plan centers on principles of low technology and
incremental capital investment. The first step is envisioned as cabins
and a minimal, mostly open air bath house. Cabins are added until the business
expands to the point that a lodge is necessary. The existing historic bath
house is stabilized in its present condition and is enhanced as a garden
"ruin" until the business expands to the point that restoration
is economically feasible.
FLORA AND FAUNA
SPECIES THAT WILL BENEFIT FROM PROPOSED RIVER
AND HABITAT IMPROVEMENTS
- Sunfish species (Redbreast, Green, Warmouth, Bluegill, Long-ear)
- Channel Catfish
- Shiners (Texas, Sand, Mimic, Blacktail)
- Central Stoneroller
- Western mosquito fish
- Rio Grande cichlid
- Guadalupe Bass
- Water Mocassins
- Tree frogs
- Alligator Lizards
- Snapping Turtles
- Fence Lizards
- Softshell Turtles
- Red-eared Slides
- Cotton Rats
- Ground Squirrels
- Southern Plains Woodrats
- Harvest Mice
- Pygmy Mice
- Tree Squirrels
- Deer Mice
Birds (General List)
- Herons and Egrets (Great Blue, Great, Snowy)
- Ducks (Mallard, Green-winged teal, Shoveler, Buffleheads, etc.)
- Hawks and Eagles (Red-tailed, Harris, Coopers, etc.)
- Shorebirds (Sandpipers, Plovers, Killdeer, Stilts)
- Doves (White-winged, Mourning, Inca)
- Owls (Great Horned, Screech Owl)
- Nighthawks (Lesser, Common)
- Hummingbirds (Black-chinned, Ruby-throated)
- Belted Kingfisher
- Woodpeckers (Golden-fronted, Ladder-backed, Flicher)
- Flycatchers (Western Kingbird, Least Flycatcher, etc.)
- Ruby-crowned Kinglet
- Blue-green Gnatcatcher
- Northern Mockingbird
- American Pipit
- Loggerhead Shrike
- House Finch
- American Goldfinch
- Northern Oriole
- Meadow Larks
SOUTH TEAM SUGGESTED SPECIES FOR
HABITAT ENHANCEMENT STRATEGIES
- Sedges ( Carex Species: Elegant Flatsedge, Strawy Flatsedge)
- Rushes (Needle Spikerush, Annual Spikerush, Creeping Spikerush)
- Bulrush (Softstem)
- Southern Cat-tail
- Southern Wild Rice
RIPARIAN ZONE PLANTS
1) Phase 1 for stabilization of banks
- Spring Herald
- Mexican Buckeye
*See grassland species as well
- Possum-haw Holly
2) Phase 2 - Later Successional Species
- Mexican Ash
- Cedar Elm
- Bald Cypress
- Eastern Cottonwood
- Black Willow
- Evergreen Sumac
- Desert Willow
- Mexican Buckeye
- Flameleaf Sumac (or Scarlet)
- Possum-haw Holly
- Mountain Laurel
- Texas Perisimmon
- Evergreen Sumac
- Bigtooth Maple
- Bur Oak
- Live Oak
- Cedar Elm
- Bald Cypress
3) Grasses and Wildflowers
- Little luestem
- Indian Grass
- Euglena Daisy
- Side-Oats Grama
- Mexican Hat (Coneflower)
- Switch Grass
- Maximillian Sunflower
- Illinois Bundleflower
Recognizing the need for river revitalization, the Mission Trails oversight
Committee has formed a subcommittee to investigate strategies for implementing
design changes to the pilot and flood control channel. This Committee's
work to date points to the need for a coordinated, interagency revitalization
effort to make the channel a recreational asset rather than a development
liability. The oversight committee is also investigating the need for permanent,
interagency and community oversight and advocacy for the mission trails
The South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce has adopted the concept goals
of the south Teams's charrette ideas as part of their Aveindas del Rio.
To bring new business to south San Antonio. As pat of this effort, the
charrette drawings will be available on the chamber's web site and the
chamber is actively promoting the charrettes ideas to potential businesses,
developer and government officials.