To a large extent the warehouses were all but empty and there is no longer any need to maintain the old, nasty, duplication of customer facilities obligated by segregation. There are some things from the past which just ain't worth being kept! Arch "fill-ins" removed, Sunset Station, San Antonio. Ancilliary room, now a restaurant, Sunset Station, San Antonio, cleared out during restoration.
The center piece of the restoration is probably the recreation of the magnificent stained glass window at the front. The one at the rear, of the Great Seal of the State of Texas, was intact, so even though work was needed to renovate it, at least it was there to be worked on.
When it came to the front window, the architects and window makers, Cavallini Glass of San Antonio had nothing left of the original to work with. It had been removed almost thirty years earlier. The problem was extraordinarily complex. How to decide which particular Sunset logo had been used in and how to recreate an honest replica of the "jig-saw" pattern that held all the pieces of glass in place.
Most of the old records had gone up in smoke in when the earth quake in San Francisco, and resulting fires, destroyed the Southern Pacific's general office. Even more remarkably, there were almost no close up pictures, and none in color, of the window. You'd think maybe some might exist from around the time of its removal, or before, but there was very little hard evidence to go on. Also take into account that the logo continued to change and evolve over time.
It was adopted by the company in July of Fortunately, the Southern Pacific, though in the throes of "merging" with the Union pacific during this time, was able to come up with most of the valuable clues.
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Of all things, an old employee newsletter was found, with reminiscences of S. Averil, who had been a member of the engineering staff that was rebuilding! Side of rear building, Sunset Station, San Antonio. Sunset Station molding, restored. Note damaged molding beside it waiting its turn. Everyone agrees that a truly magnificent job was done, which was the result of countless hours of research and preparation, followed by even more hours of painstaking labor by probably the best skilled craftsmen in the business today. Another element of the project that took a lot of time was trying to get the correct colors to repaint the building.
This required a substantial amount of historical analysis, as the building has had several paint schemes over the years. Paint samples were taken from around the structures, not all of which were always painted the same. The old Railway Express Agency building was set apart by using complimentary but darker tones, to make it appear both separate but also part of the overall purpose of the complex.
Great care was taken in choosing the places from which to remove the paint chips. They tried to take them from the least sun exposed areas wherever possible. Examining the chips is a skilled art.
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The report goes into some detail about this. The chips ere examined under natural north light, using a variety of magnifications. Each layer of paint was examined, much like an archeologist goes through a site, strata by strata. Reference was made to known historical records and layers and color schemes were given approximate dates. The evolution of paints being made and chemical compositions, were also taken into account.
If you have ever wondered about why it sometimes takes so much time and so much money to do a correct restoration, this should be giving you a little insight into how difficult it is to get a project like this, which has won so many awards, just right. The old main building is now a comfortable bar, with a stage and dance flor at the front doors. Many of the elements of its train passenger days have been maintained or referred to in the design of the new fittings.
This author is glad to report, however, that the seating is significantly more comfortable than the hard, wooden, upright benches that passengers had to use. One of the old benches is still there, for those who really want that old, nostalgic lack of comfort. The upstairs balcony areas were reconfigured to allow for through access, and the old walls creating separate offices have been removed.
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The old warehouses were turned into a number of different restaurants, allowing visitors to have some difficult but delightful choices to make when deciding where to dine. The old Wells Fargo building has become a dance club.
It was decided that in order for the complex to do well in its new role as an entertainment complex, additional facilities would be needed. An exterior pavilion was built, in the area that fronts the old warehouses. Some other pleasant additions were made, such as a cooling water fountain.
Needed shade trees were planted and just for that extra touch of mink on hot Texas days and nights, a cooling mist generator was installed to run along the edge of the old shaded walkways outside the restaurants. The complex has had a fair amount of success and challenges in it's new role. It's fair to say that in any other city, which is to say one that is not so rich in other tourist and entertainment opportunities, the Sunset Station would be a roaring success.
It has a good blend of dining and entertainment opportunities. It can play host to all kinds of events, from wedding receptions to wrestling matches. Tourists, however, are somewhat conservative, so despite being so close to downtown, it is not really on their agenda, unless they are train buffs, of course.
Locals, likewise, stigmatize certain areas of town and avoid them, even though the reality of the area is very far removed from their preconceived ideas.
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By being on the "wrong" side of HWY , too many people have the crazy idea they are running the gauntlet just to drive past the depot, when it is simply a gentle and nicely restored section of town which was once the focal point of the city's commercial activity. TTM's garden railroad can take a mobile display to you! In this picture they are in the historic Sunset Station, San Antonio.
On the bright side, the sales team are tireless in their efforts to promote the place. They have had some stunning success stories, not the least of which was being selected as the venue for the beginning of "The Great Race" in This was a phenomenal event. Not only was it well attended, it was an event televised for national distribution.
This author made his first visit to the depot for this event, and was struck by the almost staggering beauty of the buildings and the very obviously high quality of the restoration work. There was plenty of parking for visitors and the atmosphere was very relaxed yet purposeful.
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Our museum's garden railroad division was invited to set up their mobile display within the magnificent walls of the depot itself and we were able to inform a huge audience about our collections and activities. The day went off without a hitch and anyone who was visiting the restored depot for the first time went home with a much deeper sense of appreciation for the venue and its potential. Comanche Lookout Park. Fitness equipment scattered along trails, great view at the top.
Beautiful sunsets! The indoor pool at 6th floor is so difficult to find that no one knows about it. Ask someone who works there to lead u there. The roof top pool on 22nd floor has an awesome view!! Breakfast is above average for being included.
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Free cocktails and snacks in the evening. Nice cityscape views on upper levels. Great view. San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk.
pierreducalvet.ca/126079.php Hyatt Regency San Antonio Riverwalk. Best on the Riverwalk. Check out the views from the pool and fitness center on the roof. Be sure to go to the 11th floor to take in the view from the roof pool deck. The spa is nice but quite pricy, use the discount voucher in the room!