La Villita, located on the south bank of the San Antonio River a short distance south of Mission San Antonio de Valero (the Alamo), was settled in the 1700s. Situated on the river's high bank near the mission, villa, and presidio, the area was protected from flooding and Indian raids. The small settlement survived fighting during the Texas Revolution, and by the 1850s newly-arrived immigrants established a bustling neighborhood there. La Villita thrived for over fifty years, but by the 1930s it was badly deteriorated and the adjoining river was overgrown and polluted. Mayor and former congressman Maury Maverick secured federal funding to restore both la Villita and the river. National Youth Administration (NYA) workers renovated La Villita as an arts and crafts village dedicated to Pan American unity and culture, and Works Progress Administration (WPA) workers transformed the river into a landscaped linear park. Both projects, linked by the Arneson River Theatre, were completed and dedicated in 1941.
Bronze plaques along the River Walk identify features designed by Robert H.H. Hugman. The plaques replicate the stamp that was imprinted on his architectural drawings. Hugman's initial concept for beautification and commercial development of the San Antonio River was conceived in 1929. Construction began on the River Walk project
in 1939 with partial funding from the Works Progress Administration. To learn more about Hugman and the River Walk, please scan this QR code with your smartphone or go to www.HugmanTour.com.