Here’s another record-breaking San Antonio hotel–the beautiful Palacio del Rio, built in record time in order to complete construction in time for the April 1968 opening of the HemisFair.
Using ground-breaking engineering techniques, H. B. Zachry completed the 21-story structure in just 202 working days–one entire floor of fully furnished rooms was finished every 9-10 days, on average!
Giggle if you must as you watch the dated video, but remember that this was an astounding feat in its time. Many people can remember watching its progress in amazement. When you see the old cars and televisions and the obsolete computers, think what a challenge it was to design with precision using such rudimentary technological equipment…but this was a decade when nothing seemed impossible. Indeed, just a year later, Texas engineers with NASA landed a man on the moon using computers far less sophisticated than a modern cell phone. It was an age of exponential expansion in engineering, and the Palacio del Rio is one tangible symbol of the future.