Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Neon Sign That Predicted the Weather

   One of the most iconic signs in San Antonio's skyline was the neon Alamo National Bank sign. Not only did it tower over most of downtown. The sign also predicted the weather.

The Original Sign atop San Antonio's Alamo National Bank Building

From the Express News   December 28, 1968

A key to the flashing neon,  found on back of Alamo National Bank Matchbooks

The sign today, atop the redeveloped Alamo National Back Building, as see from the Drury Suites Rooftop pool

Alamo National Bank Building's New Life as a Hotel

Originally built in 1929, the the 24 story Alamo National Bank Building was one of the San Antonio's tallest office buildings for many years. In 1961,  a parking garage and drive thru banking lanes were added. Ironically, the garage faced the riverwalk, which illustrates what people thought of riverfront access before Hemisfair. 

In 2005, the building was readapted to use as a hotel. The Drury Plaza Hotel lovingly restored the lobby to it's original grandeur. The neon tower above the sign was partially restored, but no longer forecasts the weather. (If the lights on the tower lit in an upward direction, the temp was rising, etc)


The Drury Suites as seen from the Riverwalk

The building today with the new San Fernando Tower atop the parking garage. The San Fernando Tower has a rooftop patio that overlooks the riverwalk, Main Plaza and the Cathedral.

The exquisite stone work. Taken atop the new rooftop pool

The hotel lobby,  restored to it's original grandeur. Notice the stained glass above the entry. 

The Alamo depicted in stained glass on the Commerce Street exit. Notice the side panels. 

These panels originally hung in the lobby. They appear to be metal, but they are actually painted fabric. 

When the parking garage was built in 1961, it backed up to the Riverwalk, but offered no access to the river.  (in all fairness there was no sidewalk outside the parking garage until years later)
The bridge from he hotel connects the hotel to Main Plaza, which originally had limited access to the Riverwalk. 

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                                                       Reviews From Amazon.com Readers

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