Editorial Reply: Hays Street Bridge legacy must be protected
SAN ANTONIO - Hello, I'm Gary W. Houston of the Hays Street Bridge Restoration Group.
This station recently aired an editorial describing the efforts of our group as misguided.
We are guided by our sense of fair play, by our commitment to protecting the legacy of this engineering landmark and by our desire to advance the best interests of the greater community.
The Restoration Group obtained 1.7 acres of land from its then owners to complement the bridge as the final stage of the restoration process with the clear understanding that the city would hold that land in trust until it could be developed as a park.
The City Council voted last August to turn over this land to the developers of a brewery and to grant them unprecedented commercial licenses for using the bridge.
If the bridge is respected, it will be the catalyst and focal point of new development in the surrounding neighborhood.
We feel that it would constitute a serious mistake to give away the only publicly-owned land around this public landmark.
This matter is not yet settled. We have relied on written and verbal contracts with the city of San Antonio to work in support of the best interest of the public regarding the Hays Street Bridge. Unlike the city, which is intent on supporting a single developer, we continue to work in good faith to attempt to honor that broader civic obligation.
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