plans are for urban space to be completely transformed by 2018
The citizens have spoken on what they want to see in the completely revamped Hemisfair Park, which currently in the planning stages, and is set to be done in time for San Antonio's 300th birthday in 2018, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Omar Gonzalez, who is a planner in the Hemisfair project, says some of the ideas mentioned most often by hundreds of people who participated in the survey include free Wi-Fi, public art, and a green lawn to picnic on.
"Most of the ideas are kind of centered around families, programming, small events and performances, food clearly being a central one," he said.
Some of the other features that people want include eclectic local restaurants, food carts, and facilities for live music.
One thing that people overwhelmingly said they do not want in Hemisfair are any of the national chain restaurants and stores that manage to muscle their way into gathering spaces from Times Square to Hollywood.
Gonzalez says the first step in the very ambitious project is the southwestern corner of Hemisfair Park.
"The first phase is basically the intersection of Cesar Chavez and Alamo, bordered by Goliad on the north," he said.
It is the area which includes the Magik Theater, and the area across Alamo from the Marriott Plaza Hotel and the Fairmount Hotel.
Eventually the area encompassed by Hemisfair will stretch north to the corner of Alamo and Market, across the street from the Hilton Palacio del Rio, because plans call for the western portion of the Convention Center, the area that includes the Plaza of States, to be demolished.
There is also talk that Hemisfair may include the land currently occupied by the John Wood Federal Courthouse. The federal courts will move to the site now occupied by the Police Department Headquarters building on Nueva Street, with the police set to move into the new Public Safety Center on Santa Rosa Street later this year. But Gonzalez says no decision has been made about what will happen to the landmark round Wood Courthouse building, which was the Confluence Theater during Hemisfair '68.
Gonzalez says Hemisfair has the potential to be a truly great urban space, like New York's Central Park, or Chicago's Grant Park.
"We've been looking at a lot of Urban Parks around the nation," he said. "We think we can learn from all of those, and be even better."
Some of the more tongue in cheek suggestions made for Hemisfair include a bungee jumping area, a hammock park, and 'regular flash mobs.'
One change. Gonzalez says the space, which is currently known as 'Hemisfair Park,' will be known simply as 'Hemisfair.' He says research shows that in an urban setting, people associate the word 'park,' with vagrants and the homeless.