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
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