January 12, 2017 | By Melissa Gaskill
Three grand San Antonio hotels, the St. Anthony, Gunter, and Crockett, opened in 1909. The timing is hardly a coincidence. Founded at the crossroads of early travel routes, San Antonio saw significant growth after Texas became part of the Union and again with the arrival of the railroad in 1877. According to the Texas Almanac, San Antonio was the state’s most populous city in 1909. And, says architect Irby Hightower, principal of Alamo Architects Inc., these hotels filled a growing need for lodging and places to conduct business. Even during tough economic times in the 1920s and 1930s, San Antonio prospered thanks to oil and ranching money. Through the years, these hotels made enough money to remain open but not so much to tempt their owners to tear them down and build something bigger. All three have continuously operated as hotels, and thanks to recent renovations, they retain their original grandeur.