Saving San Antonio
The Preservation of a HeritageThe compelling story of the groundbreaking preservation of San Antonio's cultural and architectural past
Few American cities enjoy the likes of San Antonio's visual links with its dramatic past. The Alamo and four other Spanish missions, recently marked as a UNESCO World Heritage site, are the most obvious but there are a host of landmarks and folkways that have survived over the course of ...
Its thrust has increased since the mid-1920s with the pioneering work of the San Antonio Conservation Society. In Saving San Antonio, Texas historian Lewis Fisher peels back the myths surrounding more than a century of preservation triumphs and failures to reveal a lively mosaic that portrays the saving of San Antonio's cultural and architectural soul. The process, entertaining in the telling, has reverberated throughout the United States and provided significant lessons for the built environments and economies of cities everywhere.
“A superb read.”— Maury Maverick Jr.
“A thorough history of the organization and of the politics of preservation in the Alamo City.”— Texas Observer
“Outstanding . . . Recounts the long, sometimes acrimonious struggle to preserve San Antonio's past.” — San Antonio Express-News
“The American historic preservation movement is proof positive that democracy works. Made up, as it, for the most part, is, of citizen activists, it educates, motivates, and sometimes legislates the preservation of landmarks great and small that otherwise would fall to short-term selfish gain . . . What the conservation society started for San Antonio, it has helped to spread throughout America.” — Jerry L. Rogers, National Park Service
“A story of heroism, vision, dedication, and victory . . . Perhaps it isn't too late for groups in some other cities to preserve a few of their golden eggs for future generations. . . . Some things are worth fighting for.” — Curtis Tunnell, former executive director, Texas Historical Commission
“A balanced story of achievement and loss for one of [Texas's] most remarkable civic organizations.”— Southwestern Historical Quarterly
“This . . . volume on . . . preservation in San Antonio and the economic base it has created for the city will set the record straight on some of the myths and actualities that have made San Antonio the distinct city it is today. In this throw-away society and age of homogeneity, San Antonio's unique quality as a city is largely due to the continuing efforts of many of its citizens." — William J. Murtagh, former keeper, National Register of Historic Places
“People across the United States view San Antonio as a unique, historic, and interesting city. Here historic preservation has flourished in a way that benefits the city economically and spiritually. Lewis Fisher's book tells the story . . . with a commitment to accuracy and a lively, inviting narration. I recommend it to all who care about the souls of our cities.” — Peter H. Brink, National Trust for Historic Preservation
- San Antonio Historical Society Publication Award