Friday, January 24, 2014

The Building of the Hilton Palacio Del Rio

   When the 1968 World's Fair was awarded to San Antonio, the city was in desperate need of additional, modern hotel rooms. In had been almost 30 years since the last hotel was built downtown. When builder H.B. Zachary stepped forward to build a new hotel between the Riverwalk and Alamo Street, there was less than nine months to complete the job.

   Not only would the new Hilton Palacio Del Rio have to be completed in record time, it would have to be built in with new monolithic modular construction techniques. A tower would be built in the middle of the hotel and complete rooms would be stacked on top of each other.

   The rooms were built on a site 7 miles away, complete with furniture, carpeting, lamps, TV's and even a Gideon Bible in the night stand. Crew worked around the clock to build the modular rooms that had steel cable handles to lift the structure into place.

   When the first room was scheduled to be lifted into place, H.B. Zachary and his wife rode on the balcony as a crane took it to it's new home. The builder had hoped to stack 10 complete rooms a day. By the end they had gotten so skilled at operating the special crane, they could lift up to 35 a day, enabling them to complete the building in record time. The entire project ended up taking just 202 working days, last than seven months.

A special crane was used to lift the completed modular rooms into place. Notice the balcony railing on the right side of the room 

  With the new Hilton and the 1968 Hemisfair, San Antonio was discovered by tourist and a new industry was created.

   Below is a movie made about the construction of the Hilton Palacio Del Rio

Enjoy My Blog?  Check out my new San Antonio Based Novel,

"What a surprise! . . .a page-turner . . . extremely well-written and well researched. . . I highly recommend this book to all mystery lovers . . . a great read. . . couldn't wait to find out what would happen next . . . I love a book you can't put down, and this certainly fit the bill . . . very engaging . . .  I really couldn't stop reading it . . . a fantastic and completely believable story"

                                                       Reviews From Readers

No comments:

Post a Comment