Craft / Historic Preservation / Commercial

Historic Visitor’s Center


The former Office Building for the United States Army was built in 1860, and is tied for being the first permanent United States Government building erected in Texas. This building was operational during the Civil War, when it was turned over to the Confederacy. Several officers, including Gen. Robert E. Lee, occupied this strategic outpost at one time or another during the war. The building was returned back to the United States Army in 1865, when it became the head Command Post for the American-Indian War campaign in Texas. Afterwards, it sat mostly vacant until 2012, when it was purchased by a highly regarded San Antonio corporation looking to expand its corporate campus back to the original boundaries of the historic military campus.

Ford Powell & Carson completed the renovations to the historic landmark—which now acts as the Visitor Center and welcoming station for any guests visiting the corporate campus. The building was restored from its substandard conditions through careful restoration of the interior spaces and the exterior facades and porch. Reclaimed flooring and limestone walls were cleaned, and the interior was opened up into a simplified arrangement of restrooms, conference room, and waiting area. The Visitor Center is ideally sited in a tree-lined grove with careful placement of new plaster low walls and layered beds of landscaping, which act as both security and visual elements.

Custom millwork and display cases for historic artifacts were designed, as well as a visual history of both the campus and the company through wall-mounted signage and digital displays. The campus sees over 100 guests a day, who now enter through this jewel of a building and through the adjacent Acequia Plaza.

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