Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Travel Tuesday: More San Antonio Hotels: Emily Morgan and La Mansión Del Rio

TODAY (July 1, 2014) is the last day to get early-bird discount registration fees for #FGS2014, the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference being held in San Antonio, Texas, August 27-30! If you are still looking for a hotel, and don't mind being a little further from the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, you might want to consider these historic hotels:  the Emily Morgan and La Mansión Del Rio.
Emily Morgan Hotel, April 6, 2013 /  © Amanda Pape 
When I took the picture above on the Alamo grounds in San Antonio in early April, 2013, I did not know what this building was - but I thought it was so interesting, I had to find out.
Alamo Mission [and Emily Morgan Hotel in background, 9 Sep 2011] / Zygmunt Put / CC-BY-SA 3.0
Emily Morgan Hotel [with Alamo Cenotaph in foreground, 2 January 2010] / 
Josh*m /  CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0
The Emily Morgan Hotel is at 705 Houston Street. The San Antonio Conservation Society Foundation holds a facade easement of this building "as a means of insuring the preservation of historic structures."  Their website goes on to say:
Built as the Medical Arts Building in 1926, and designed by architect Ralph Cameron, this steel frame and brick building rises thirteen stories over Alamo Plaza. It has long been an architectural landmark in San Antonio because of the elaborate Gothic detailing in stone and terra cotta. The building was first renovated in 1976 for office space, and in 1985 converted to the Emily Morgan Hotel. The facade was donated to the Foundation ... in December, 1985.
Emily Morgan details [2 July 2008] / Christina B Castro / CC-BY-NC 2.0

The hotel's website goes on to say:

The building's distinctive form and ornamentation are influenced by the Gothic revival that was the fashion for skyscrapers nationwide in the 1920s. The panels between the first and second stories, as well as the marquee over the main entrance, are of cast iron painted to simulate bronze. The roof is copper with wood ribs. Terra cotta gargoyles depicting figures with various ailments, including toothaches and other medical troubles, are perhaps the most interesting architectural feature of this unique building.

Not surprisingly, it's the second-most photographed building in San Antonio (the Alamo is first).
Emily Morgan Architecture [7 June 2008] / Jim Lynch / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
Another cool San Antonio hotel, on the River Walk (but a but of a stroll from the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center) is La Mansión del Rio, at 112 College.  I have stayed at this hotel for conventions, and it would be a good option for those who'd like to get in some exercise each morning and evening, and who plan to spend the entire convention day at the Convention Center and other areas close to that.
La Mansión del Rio Hotel [19 July 2009] / Charles Willgren / CC-BY 2.0
Mansion on the San Antonio RiverWalk
[27 Sep. 2011] / Ivy Dawned
CC-BY-SA 2.0
According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation,

In 1852, sixteen years after the fall of the Alamo, construction began on what was originally known as St. Mary’s Institute, school for boys. As the need for education grew, St. Mary’s became a junior college and finally grew into a senior college. In 1931, the building became known as St. Mary’s University Downtown College. In 1934, the law school was set up downtown and remained on College Street until December of 1966. In 1968, La Mansión del Rio opened its doors as a luxury hotel [just in time for HemisFair '68].

When we stayed there in April 2007, we had a room with a balcony overlooking the River Walk, much like the room pictured below:
Le Mansión del Rio [interior, 23 July 2006] / Dan & Susie Romer / CC-BY-SA 2.0

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

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