City Hall, San Antonio

City Hall, San Antonio

Sitting in the center of Military Plaza (Plaza de Armas), this Italian Renaissance Revival building, established in 1722 by the Spanish settlers of Texas who had earlier set up a garrison at San Pedro Creek which runs along the western border of the plaza, is the city’s first seat of government and one of the oldest public buildings in continuous use in the U.S.

The plaza itself has a long history. Moses Austin came here in 1820 seeking permission from the Spanish governor to settle Anglo-American colonists in Texas. Construction of the City Hall in the center of the plaza largely changed its character and put an end to the open air market, the "Chili Queens" and the rowdy activities of the cowboys, cattlemen and gamblers who used to frequent the area outside the early Old Spanish Governor's Palace and "Bat Cave" jailhouse.

Built in 1888-1891, the edifice was designed by Otto Kramer, the architect acclaimed for his work in New York, Chicago and St. Louis. Originally, the building boasted of three-stories, topped with conical and mansard towers, as well as an octagonal, 135-feet high tower with a clock that had to be cranked 160 times, once a week, to keep it running – the look you'll probably see on the old San Antonio postcards. The overall appearance was significantly altered in 1927 when the towers and corner turrets were lopped off and a fourth floor added; the clock, damaged in removal, had to be scrapped.

As the municipal government grew, the City Hall grew with it. While many of the city departments have moved to other buildings by now, offices of the mayor and city council still remain in this historic property.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in San Antonio. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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City Hall on Map

Sight Name: City Hall
Sight Location: San Antonio, USA (See walking tours in San Antonio)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in San Antonio, Texas

Create Your Own Walk in San Antonio

Create Your Own Walk in San Antonio

Creating your own self-guided walk in San Antonio is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
King William Historical District Tour

King William Historical District Tour

San Antonio’s first “suburb” and the very first historical district in Texas, revitalized during the 1960s, the King William District encompasses 25 blocks south of downtown and east of the San Antonio River.

Back in the late 1800s, it was the most elegant residential area in the city. Settled by German immigrants, the neighborhood was named after Kaiser Wilhelm of Prussia and...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles
River Walk Tour

River Walk Tour

The San Antonio River Walk (also known as Paseo del Río or simply The River Walk) is a network of walkways along the banks of the San Antonio River, one story beneath the streets of the city. A successful special-case pedestrian street, this walk winds and loops under bridges as two parallel sidewalks lined with restaurants and shops, connecting major tourist draws and attractions that add to its...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 Km or 1.2 Miles
San Antonio Introduction Walking Tour

San Antonio Introduction Walking Tour

San Antonio, one of Texas' major cities, boasts rich colonial heritage. The city was named by a 1691 Spanish expedition for Saint Anthony of Padua, whose feast day is June 13. At the time of European encounter, the area near the San Antonio River Valley was inhabited by Payaya Indians who called it Yanaguana, the "refreshing waters".

In 1709, Spanish Father Antonio de Olivares...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles