FOX San Antonio - The Valdes View
By: Michael Valdes
As a former longtime CPS Energy employee, Scott Smith knows his Mission Road Power Plant history. All one hundred-plus years. But these days, Scott spends more time getting excited about the plant's possible future.
"We have the San Antonio River right here," an excited Smith says. "The new hike and bike trails are going to go right here down Mission Road. You have fantastic view of Downtown that you don't get anywhere else in San Antonio."
The power plant was shut down in 2003. The building and surrounding land are completely cleaned up and ready for whatever the future might hold.
In the mean time, one group is hoping the building might power some inspiration for a new generation of preservation.
"We want San Antonio to be San Antonio and one of the ways that it is... is through our historic buildings," says Shanon Miller from the City's Office of Historic Preservation.
The newly-formed Power of Preservation Foundation is made up of city people like Shanon Miller and everyday people like Robert Salluce. All working to get fresh ideas, fresh faces, and fresh private funding to preserving the things that make San Antonio one-of-a-kind.
"We go to restaurants at the Pearl," says Salluce. "Some of us live downtown in historic buildings. We go see art at the Blue Star. We go to mass at San Jose. This is all part of our quality of life and our culture that is unique to San Antonio. Saving a building like this is the same thing."
Miller adds, "There is a little bit of a backlash to growing up in neighborhoods that are more suburban in nature and every house looks the same. And it's like, eh, maybe we don't want that. So, younger people are looking back to the city. Not just in San Antonio, but everywhere."
Their hope is every one will realize they can play a part. Not just in preserving the past but making that past a big part of our future.
"Where is the next place we are going to see people reinvest in San Antonio. And certainly southward expansion is happening right now," Salluce says.
"What a great catalyst it would be for growth on the South side," says Smith. "Which has really been neglected in that way for so many years, to see that happen here at this structure."
"I think younger people do get that. We are just trying to make it ok for them to admit that this can be cool," concludes Miller.
The Power of Preservation Foundation will hold a fundraiser inside the Mission Road Power Plant on October 25th.
Wednesday, October 10 2012, 04:53 PM CDT
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