Sunken Garden Theater Expansion – San Antonio TX


“The theater originally was constructed in 1930 and expanded and renovated in 1937 using Texas Centennial funding. The architect for the 1930 project was Harvey P. Smith, who was joined by George Willis and Charles T. Boelhauwe to design the 1937 project.

The old quarry wall forms the western (back) edge of the theater site, providing an open-air setting with natural acoustic features. The 193- design included stage and classical wings, while the 1937 expansion added dressing rooms and stage support buildings, restrooms, seating, and a concrete floor for the seating area. The 1937 project was constructed by WPA workers, while NYA workers built the concession area in 1937-1938.

The theater has been renovated several times since its completion. The site’s defining feature, the stage structure, retains its integrity. Two Art-Moderne-influenced ticket booths, one at the north and one at the south entrance also retain their integrity.”

(Copied from the 2011 nomination for the National Register of Historical Places for Brackenridge Park. The Theater is listed as a contributing structure.)

The theater is built in the old rock quarry that supplied limestone rock for many structures, including Alamo Stadium (previously submitted). The rock walls are visible in the picture of the restroom building that bears the NYA plaque. The concrete barrier wall shown in the full view of the seating area provides sound protection from the major highway that now separates the theater from the stadium.

The theater is owned by the City of San Antonio and is available to rent. It is a popular venue for concerts and special events.

Source notes

2011 nomination form for Brackenridge Park to the National Register of Historic Places

Project originally submitted by Elizabeth Hilburn on October 10, 2013.

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Location Info

3875 N. St. Mary's St.
San Antonio, TX 78212

Coordinates: 29.460780, -98.478223

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