Renderings show future $9.6 million World Heritage Center on San Antonio’s South Side

New center will be built on site of former Mission Drive-In theater

The overall project is funded by the 2017-2022 Bond. The project includes a $5 million allocation from the Library and Cultural Facilities proposition as leverage funding for a new facility to provide an orientation center, community space, and other facility spaces as needed. (Dunaway and Muñoz, City of San Antonio)

SAN ANTONIO – New renderings show what the forthcoming World Heritage Center will look like on San Antonio’s South Side.

The renderings were submitted to the Historic and Design Review Commission for the City of San Antonio and feature intricate details that will be worked into the design of the building.

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Some of the archways will feature waterbird and native plant depictions that were important to indigenous peoples of the area.

Tile pieces in the design were inspired by some of the original fresco painted flowers and embellishments on the walls of some of the missions. The flower is to represent life and growth and the circles coming from the pistol represent the water coming forth from the springs that fed San Antonio creekways and river. (City of San Antonio)

“The water bird represents life, one of the many that is supported by the riverway,” according to a design document for the center. “The Nopal is to represent the resilience of the people who made a life here in these lands, one that flowers and also provides sustenance.”

The World Heritage Center will feature roughly 10,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor exhibit and meeting space and will complete the walking trail at Mission Branch Library, according to the city’s website.

It will be located at 3100 Roosevelt Avenue where the old Mission Drive-In theater used to be.

“During the World Heritage Land Use Symposium in February 2016, residents provided feedback on possible land uses within the World Heritage Buffer Zone, including the desire for a center,” the city of San Antonio website states.

The former Mission Drive-In theater property was selected as the best location for such a center in 2018 but the city didn’t announce the location until a virtual World Heritage Open House in June 2020.

Construction is expected to start this fall and be substantially complete by the fall of 2023.

Funding for the project is provided from the 2017-2022 city bond and a large donation from the Tricentennial Commission for art, design enhancements and interpretive elements. The total funding is estimated to be nearly $9.6 million.

The World Heritage Center is expected to open in the late spring of 2024.

In 2019 the consultant team of Dunaway and Muñoz were chosen to help design the World Heritage Center. (City of San Antonio)


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