FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

San Antonio, Texas, Preserves Architectural Beauty for Future Generations

by Aoife O’Riordan

Jun 2, 2023

Drury Hotel © Visit San Antonio


In San Antonio, Texas, old buildings are seldom destroyed. When they fall into disrepair, they are instead repurposed and restored to maintain the city’s history and traditions for future generations to appreciate. Whether it’s a former brewery or bank transforming into a chic hotel or a candy factory evolving into stylish lofts, this Texas city embraces both history and sustainability.

Hotel Emma © Visit San Antonio

So, what places can you visit that were once these former banks and breweries? At Hotel Emma, guests will see elements of the former 19th-century Pearl Brewery throughout the property. Hotel Emma blends its beer-making history into its modern design. Emily Morgan Hotel once served as a former medical arts building, office complex and now a National Register of Historic Places as part of the Alamo Plaza Historic District. Visitors can also stay at Drury Hotel, a former 1920s bank that now embodies historic elegance.

Once a popular resort in the 19th century, Hot Wells Resort fell into ruin before the city turned it into a public park and green space. The space sits adjacent to the new Camp Hot Wells, a camp-inspired experience that opened this year with a wine and charcuterie outpost and private cabanas.


© Visit San Antonio

Even the city’s restaurants and bars have a history. Liberty Bar lies in a former nunnery, while the coffee shop, pizzeria and other eateries in Hemisfair Park feature repurposed structures from the 1968 World’s Fair. Over at San Antonio Botanical Gardens, what once were horse stalls is now the award-winning Jardin restaurant. And Guenther House, a historic mansion named after the house’s patriarch in the 19th century, now serves up American classics and is a brunch favorite for locals and visitors.

Did you know San Antonio Museum of Art was once Lone Star Beer Brewery? One of the state’s premier artistic collections once produced beer!

© The Emily Morgan Hotel

And the historic findings show no signs of stopping. The San Pedro Creek excavations in 2020 unearthed the foundation of one of the first Black churches for the freedmen in San Antonio, and the site is currently looking to become a new historical attraction. The remains of the St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church were also discovered, and a historical society is currently fighting to preserve and share the ruins.


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