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Demolition in preparation for the 1968 World's Fair, held in San Antonio.

Texas Historical Foundation Directors Lewis Fisher and Bill Sibley will present a grant to San Antonio’s Hemisfair Conservancy in support of their restoration efforts at the Longini-Herrmann House. Built in 1893, the historic house is one of few structures to survive razing in preparation for the 1968 World’s Fair. The presentation will take place 4 p.m. Monday, March 6 on-site.  This is the group’s fourth grant from the Texas Historical Foundation.

The Longini-Herrmann is a vestige of San Antonio’s once-thriving Germantown neighborhood, a vibrant cross-section of cultures and architectural styles that blossomed in the early 1800s just south of downtown. By the run-up to the city’s 250’s anniversary and the 1968 World’s Fair, falling property values and a national interest in urban renewal made the neighborhood a prime candidate to clear, making way for 1968’s HemisFair and its world-class civic center.

While the World’s Fair did win the city international attention as hoped, sadly, very little of the original neighborhood avoided demolition. The Longini-Herrmann escaped narrowly, it’s Queen Ann-inspired architecture lending an air of the old world to the Philippine restaurant that operated inside during the fair. It was one of only 22 properties to do so. In the end, 1,600 residents were displaced, and over 1,000 structures lost.

Today, the Hemisfair Conservancy is perhaps best known for their downtown greenspaces and parks, the product of years of efforts to revitalize the area, but historic preservation and economic sustainability remain a core priority. Once completed, the Longini-Herrmann House will join the growing number of historic structures restored by the group and then rented out to local businesses, funding their next project. This model recognizes that conservancy is a cornerstone of continued community investment, furthering the aim of urban renewal while protecting San Antonio’s past.  

If you are a Director or Texas Historical Foundation member and wish to attend the presentation at the Longini-Herrmann House, contact To learn more about Hemisfair Conservancy and their many projects, visit