Construction has begun on Yanaguana Garden, the opening phase of the redevelopment of Hemisfair Park, now called Hemisfair. This will be a four-acre active play and recreational environment for all ages and abilities. A fence has been put up around the Yanaguana Garden site at South Alamo Street and Cesar Chavez Boulevard, and an archeological investigation is taking place. Excavation and construction of the site will be recorded so that designated archeological resources are preserved, according to a press release. Officials with the Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corp. said one notable discovery researchers have made is the alignment of the original acequia wall.
The Yanaguana Garden design commemorates the old water route with its water features and a splash pad. Yanaguana Garden is named after the Payaya tribe’s description of the San Antonio River. The overall Yanaguana Garden project comes with a $5.5 million budget, funds for which are coming from the city’s 2012 bond program. Meanwhile, eight local artists have been helping to develop a series of art installations that will sit on the site. “Play,” the common theme of the artworks, will incorporate San Antonio’s history and culture.
There is another element of Yanaguana Garden in the planning phases: a residential complex that will be produced from a public-private partnership. Dozens of workshops and public presentations have resulted in detailed phased plans for the redevelopment of Hemisfair. Yanaguana Garden, which will open to the public in mid-2015, is only the beginning. Hemisfair will eventually be a place with many parks, plazas, courtyards, cafes, galleries, streets, living spaces, and more. The public can track the progress Hemisfair’s development at the website www.hemisfair.org.