Hugman Sites Tour

Monday, August 22, 2016

3. Hugman Bench

This section of the River Walk was intended by its designer to be park-like and serene, a place of contemplation for those seeking refuge from the busy streets above. In addition to the heavy cedar benches scattered elsewhere, in this area Robert Hugman provided a few decorative benches of cast concrete, the seats carefully drained to avoid standing water.

Plantings along the banks were to screen the water works smokestacks that then loomed beyond the north bank and, above the south bank, the jumbled steel networks of a power plant, since replaced by the curving Villita Assembly Hall. Blending with the scale of Hugman’s design is the South Presa Street bridge, one of three surviving iron structures manufactured in the early 1890s by Connecticut’s Berlin Bridge Company to span the San Antonio River.

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