After months of public meetings that date back to April of last year, and recent design work by volunteers with the local chapter of Latinos in Architecture, the fate of the much-debated fence around Plaza Guadalupe will be officially shown to the public next week.
The meeting is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. March 7 (Thursday) at El Progreso Hall, 1306 Guadalupe St.
In 2016, the nonprofit that leases the near-West Side plaza from the city, the Avenida Guadalupe Association, erected a chain-linked fence as a deterrent against criminal activity—mainly drug use, it said. It stayed that way for about two years. Then early last year, community members and activists, lead by the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, began to question the fence, then the meetings began.
According to Gonzales’ office, Latinos in Architecture has crafted a plan, based on feedback from the recent meetings, that will show the temporary removal of the fence, and the addition of “landscape features to enhance security.” In an email, Gonzales’ office also said the plaza’s ADA accessibility would be enhanced, and other amenities, such as new pavers, plants and shade, would be installed.
“These plans reflect community input as well as Latinos in Architecture concepts,” Gonzales said in a statement.
Community members are invited to view the plan and give feedback.
In the middle of the public meetings last year, the city opened up the plaza from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily—a schedule it maintains.
The plaza was built in 1984 and has been the stage for some of the most historic events in San Antonio’s history—including Pope John Paul II’s visit in 1987, President Barack Obama’s visit in 2008, and, most recently, the launch of former Mayor Julián Castro’s White House run.