Hemisfair: yanaguana gardens + civic Park

San Antonio, Texas




The HemisFair of San Antonio was the official 1968 World’s Fair.  As of 2013, only a handful of the original built structures remained, having been repurposed for public uses, and the majority of the site was underused or unused altogether.  In 2009, the non-profit organization HemisFair Park Area Redevelopment Corporation (HPARC) was formed by the San Antonio City Council in hopes of redeveloping the area by expanding existing public spaces and improving their quality.  The HemisFair Yanaguana Gardens and Civic Park are two of the three larger redevelopment projects, with the third being the Tower Center.  In addition to these three projects, other components include more parks and plazas, historic restoration, vertical mixed-use development and complete streets.  Yanaguana Gardens, a four-acre children’s play area, opened in October 2015.  Civic Park, a 12.5-acre public park, is still under design, and the Tower Center will undergo design in the near future.  Upon completion, HemisFair will become a district with multiple parks, plazas, courtyards, cafes, galleries, complete streets, residences, and more.


ETM prepared individual maintenance, operations, and management reports for both Yanaguana Gardens and Civic Park.  The Yanaguana Gardens operations and management report was developed during the selection process for the Civic Park design team.  The report identified maintenance needs for the site and potential maintenance and/or operational issues that might arise.  In addition to this, specific recommendations were made with regards to programming, maintenance facilities and equipment, and personnel.  It also addressed how a new operating model would be implemented over time, and how administrative staffing needs for the future parks (Civic Park and Tower Center) might be met through shared services within the District.  The report also provided recommendations for how the City of San Antonio could begin to hand over its responsibilities to HPARC over time, which also allowed HPARC to plan for an increased O+M budget and to identify new potential revenue sources to meet those budgetary needs.


ETM worked very closely with the clients to create a realistic schedule and budget with which all were comfortable.  As such, the programming budget was designed to match the clients’ vision, while also keeping it achievable.  ETM developed preliminary programming schedules that recognized the unique identities of Yanaguana Gardens and Civic Park, and recommended that programming should begin with a low to moderate level, and then increase over time with new activities to retain visitor interest and meet demands as Phase 2 and other projects are further developed.