San Antonio.- Next weekend, get on the wagon with the San Antonio Conservation Society for an extra- special seminar and tour called “Roadside Treasures – Buildings of the Automotive Era.” Make sure you don't miss out on this terrific opportunity ... Wednesday Sept. 12 is the deadline to register! PHOTO: This neon-lit, flying red horse first soared over a service station in San Antonio in 1934. When Mobil Oil sold the service station in 1985, the Society worked successfully with the oil company and the new owner to secure the future of the distinctive Pegasus sign. The 1986 agreement reached with Mobil Corporation represented the first of its kind because it allowed the company’s trademark to be on permanent loan to a private entity: the San Antonio Conservation Society Foundation (SACSF). In a separate agreement, the Society required the new owner to maintain and preserve the sign. (courtesy SACSF)
By Angela Covo. firstname.lastname@example.org
In one afternoon, you’ll learn where to find San Antonio’s large pink pig, an amazing Pegasus neon sign and the first A-frame Whataburger.
And those are just a few of the quirky pieces of roadside architecture the San Antonio Conservation Society will highlight and discuss in its upcoming seminar—with complete instructions for a 45-minute self-guided driving tour that culminates in a reception at the Olmos Bharmacy.
The Conservation Society, a nonprofit organization, will launch the “Roadside Treasures – Buildings of the Automotive Era” tour at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept 15 at the El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel, 110 Lexington Ave.
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., guests will enjoy a box lunch, keynote and panel discussion with experts in the field.
The seminar features keynote speaker Chester Liebs, author of Main Street to Miracle Mile: American Roadside Architecture, who will discuss the identification and protection of these historic resources in a regional and larger context.
His expertise is legendary. Liebs, the founding director of the Historic Preservation Program at the University of Vermont and a past president of the Society for Industrial Archeology and the Society for Commercial Archeology, currently teaches the University of New Mexico’s Graduate Certificate Program in Historic Preservation and Regionalism.
Panel discussions also include representatives of the Texas Historical Commission and Texas Department of Transportation highlighting discovery processes, preservation successes and historic gas stations.
At 4:30 p.m. — after the speakers and panels — participants will hit the road for a self-guided driving tour of roadside architecture. A map and instructions will be available.
The tour lasts approximately 45 minutes with a “meet up” after the tour at Olmos Bharmacy, Neighborhood Bhar and Rhestaurant, 3902 McCullough Ave.
“As a regional commercial center and a historic crossroads of trade, it is no surprise that roadside architecture blossomed in San Antonio in the twentieth century as the American automobile culture became dominant,” Conservation Society president Nancy Avellar explained.
“Although many of the tourist courts, motels, drive-in restaurants and auto-oriented businesses have disappeared, San Antonio still retains a significant collection of buildings and structures of the automotive era,” she added.
Don’t miss out on this chance to see San Antonio from a whole new perspective. There’s still time to register: the registration deadline is Wednesday, Sept, 12.
Registration forms are available online at www.saconservation.org. Adults are $20; students $10. Checks should be made payable to the San Antonio Conservation Society Foundation and mailed to 107 King William Street, San Antonio, Texas, 78204. To pay by credit card, call the Society at 210-224-6163. Your payment is your reservation; payments are non-refundable.