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Old Posted Feb 3, 2007, 3:19 PM
SAguy SAguy is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
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Drury Plaza San Antonio Riverwalk to open soon

Drury Plaza San Antonio Riverwalk to open soon

Melissa S. Monroe
Express -News Business Writer

In the 1920s, the Alamo National Building was a bustling 24-story bank that filled the San Antonio skyline.

Tellers behind brass-lined windows in the bank's lobby helped customers and people used walk-in phone booths carved into the walls.


Owner Rick Drury stands in front of the new Drury Plaza San Antonio Riverwalk.


After a series of banks were housed in the historic building, Drury Hotels has turned the site that opened in 1929 into the Drury Plaza San Antonio Riverwalk — a modern 306-room hotel overlooking the River Walk. The hotel could open to guests as early as next week.

Visitors will still see and feel the nostalgia of the building in spite of the contemporary look. The check-in area still resembles teller windows and the phone booth doors now lead to meeting rooms.

Other oddities include a vault turned into an employee break room, with the gigantic safe still on the entrance to the room. In two rooms, spiral staircases that were used in the 1920s were taken from the basement and now lead guests up to another room.

"We've done everything we can to take the building back to its original state," said Drury Hotels Director Rick Drury. "We looked at old documents and talked to a lot of people about its history. Even the chandeliers are the original chandeliers."

This spring, the hotel company is planning to relight the weather spire on top of the building that used colors to let San Antonians know if the temperature was rising or falling.

For Drury Hotels, which has offices here and in St. Louis, this hotel is considered a flagship property. It will have the most rooms of any of its properties and the most meeting space at 12,000 square feet.

Another 60 to 65 rooms are being added in phase two of the project, which will be completed this year. The new hotel also boasts having the highest swimming pool in San Antonio — on the rooftop of the 24-story building.

Unlike most hotel projects that use outside contractors, the Drury has renovated the building mostly on its own. Its development company did much of the construction work, and Drury also took on extending 850 feet of the walkway near South St. Mary's Street that will connect the River Walk in one continuous loop. Also, most of the hotel's furniture is coming from its own plant in Missouri.

The hotel will lease spaces at the River Walk level to two restaurants that haven't been named yet. Rick Drury said he hopes the restaurants will open by year's end.

Greg Gallaspy, director of the Paseo del Rio Association, said the hotel company has gone "above and beyond" in building this hotel.

"There's not anyone who's taken a project like this and really refurbished it to this magnitude, which includes the River Walk," Gallaspy said. "They have realigned some of the old features, while presenting newer technology. It's a compliment to the Drury family."
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Anyone have any pix of the weather spire looked lit?
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