“Driveway in Brackenridge Park” postcard, postmarked 1909 – From the Witte Museum Archives.
Brackenridge Park exhibition at the Witte Museum shares the history of San Antonio’s urban park
Explore the evolution of one of San Antonio’s foremost gathering places.
The region just south of the San Antonio River’s headwater springs, formally created as Brackenridge Park in 1899, has been a gathering place for at least 12,000 years. Explore the story of the remarkable area and how it has changed over time to become the park we know today in a new exhibition at the Witte Museum. “Brackenridge: San Antonio’s Acclaimed Urban Park,” exhibited in connection with the release of Lewis F. Fisher’s new book of the same name, opens Saturday, October 22, 2022 and will be on display in the Laura and Sam Dawson Gallery at the museum until March 20, 2023.
Nestled in the heart of the city along the San Antonio River is one of the very few urban parks in the country whose evolution so closely reflects—layer by layer—the history and development of the city around it. Brackenridge Park’s 400 acres hold evidence of generations of inhabitants and people passing through, drawn to the life-giving springs and river. Even the environment is a place of confluence, where the Edwards Plateau, Central Prairies and South Texas Plains ecoregions meet.
Artifacts tell the rich history of the area, from the 10,300-year-old stone projectile points to 20th-century postcards, showing that the park has been something to write home about for more than a century. Explore these as you view maps and photos showing the evolution of the park over the past 123 years. Learn about the establishment of the park, the plants and animals that call it home, the people who have shaped it and how beloved park features have changed over time.
The exhibition is accompanied by the new book “Brackenridge: San Antonio’s Acclaimed Urban Park” by Lewis F. Fisher, the author of numerous books about San Antonio and Texas. The book, which is a comprehensive history of Brackenridge Park, is published by Maverick Books / Trinity University Press and co-published with the Brackenridge Park Conservancy. It is available to purchase through the Bolner Family Museum Store at the Witte Museum.
Tickets for Museum Admission, which includes this exhibition, can be reserved online at www.WitteMuseum.org. The museum’s new Family plus Membership gives members unlimited, free access to exhibitions requiring a special ticket, including National Geographic’s “Monster Fish: In Search of the Last River Giants,” which is currently on display at the museum. Memberships can be purchased at www.WitteMuseum.org/Memberships.