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Intensive Archaeological Survey of CPS Energy Headquarters Parking Lot Improvements San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas
Texas Historical Commission
Terracon archaeologists carried out a modified intensive survey consisting of backhoe trench excavations on behalf of City Public Service (CPS) in northern Downtown San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. At this location, CPS plans to construct a multi-level parking garage and renovate existing buildings. As CPS is a publicly owned utility company, ground disturbing work on the property is under the purview of the Antiquities Code of Texas. Accordingly, archaeological investigations were performed under Antiquities Permit No. 7859, issued to David Yelacic.
Five total backhoe trenches revealed a variety of deposits and materials, including remnants of past built environments, some of which were pushed into the former channel of the San Antonio River, as well as a light scatter of prehistoric materials. These historic and prehistoric materials were recorded as a historic urban palimpsest situated atop a prehistoric scatter. The archaeological site was designated 41BX2169.
The site is presently a parking lot and has been for at least 25 years. The historic portion of the archaeological site represents the past built environment, which includes a former location of the First Chinese Baptist Church of San Antonio. The Church sold the property to the developer of the parking lot and existing buildings and since moved on to another location, and the former location is properly honored by a subject marker at approximately 607 Avenue B. Given the lack of architecture and the loss of integrity of the church’s sacred space, and given the relative lack of paucity of prehistoric artifacts and features, it is Terracon’s opinion that site 41BX2169 would not meet criteria or have the integrity for listing on the National Register of Historic Places nor for designation as a State Antiquities Landmark. Terracon recommends that the overall project should not disturb the subject marker representing the former church. It is also Terracon’s recommendation that the project be allowed to proceed as planned without further consideration of archaeological resources.
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