Remember(ing) the Alamo (City)


I recently found an old postcard of the skyline of San Antonio, Texas–home of the Alamo, Whataburger and Rodney Alcala–from 1937.

I thought, of course, it would be interesting to compare the Skyline of 85 years ago to today (during which the population of the city proper–not including the ‘burbs–grew from ~240K to 1.5 million people).

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a free photo from this exact angle, but did find this Creative Commons photo on Wikimedia:

Source and license:

That’s a bit big with a lot of sky, so let’s crop and zoom:

More skyscrapers, obviously. And higher urban density. The Tower of the Americas, on the far right, wasn’t built until the late Sixties for the Hemisfair ’68 World’s Fair.

But the Tower Life Building is still standing

And the Alamo National Bank building:

Milam Building:

As well as the Emily Morgan Hotel


The rest of the skyline seems to have faded into history–though, unlike, for instance, Dallas or Houston–San Antonio seems to be pretty good about preserving its historical buildings (after all, they did preserve and restore the Alamo); unfortunately, unlike our European friends, we Americans are all-too-often eager to default to a New Years Mindset–”Out with the Old, In with the New”.

To add a bit of further information, this postcard is copyrighted by Summerville Photo, which refers to H.L. Summerville, a photographer local so San Antonio but who otherwise seems to have very little information available online, save for this MySanAntonio article.

Featured Image By Mark Haupt

Questions? Comments? Concerns?