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Archaeological Monitoring Of The Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center Expansion Project, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas
Texas Historical Commission
Project Control of Texas, Inc. (CLIENT) has contracted with Raba Kistner Environmental, Inc. (RKEI) on behalf of the City of San Antonio (COSA) to perform archaeological services for the proposed Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center (HBGCC) Expansion Project in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. RKEI performed an intensive pedestrian survey and subsequent construction monitoring activities over a period of eighteen months beginning in April 2013 and ending in September 2014. The expansion took place to the east and north of the current Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center, bounded by IH-37 on the east, Market Street on the north and Hemisfair Plaza on the south. The Area of Potential Effects (APE) measured approximately 19.45-acres. The archaeological services were performed under Permit Number 6517, issued to Pollyanna Clark. Christopher Murray and Pollyanna Clark, conducted the field monitoring, and Christopher Murray and Steve A. Tomka collaborated in producing the present report.
Sanborn Fire Insurance maps dating to the turn of the century and thereafter showed that a highly dynamic community thrived in the area. The maps show numerous residential compounds and business establishments across the 19.45-acre APE. In reviewing the historic 1912 Sanborn maps of the APE, RKEI Principal Investigator, Pollyanna Clark, suggested that three of these in particular should be the focus of further research if their remnants can be identified during the construction monitoring. They consisted of the Patrick Public School, No. 5, later to become Burnet Public School No. 5, St. Albert’s Hall, and St. Michael’s School. The Texas Historical Commission reviewers agreed with these recommendations.
The intensive pedestrian survey consisted of the excavation of nine trenches across the APE (Clark and Murray 2013). None of the trenches produced cultural materials or buried architectural features. Subsequent to the pedestrian survey, between June 2013 and September 2014, RKEI staff monitored mechanical excavations exceeding one meter in depth. Thirty-five late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century foundations and trash pits were noted during the monitoring. Of these, only four, documented between April and September 2014, were defined as features in the field. The other 31 features, observed between June 2013 and April 2014, were defined during the production of the current report based on the review of the field notes and photo documentation obtained during monitoring.
The thirty-five features fall within the boundaries of 13 sites identified based on the 1912 Sanborn Fire Insurance maps. No Spanish Colonial or Native American deposits were observed. No significant intact cultural deposits and features were encountered during the monitoring.
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