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Japanese Tea Gardens, San Antonio

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The San Antonio Japanese Tea Garden, or Sunken Gardens in Brackenridge Park, San Antonio, Texas, USA opened in an abandoned limestone rock quarry in the early 20th century. It was known also as Chinese Tea Gardens, Chinese Tea Garden Gate, Chinese Sunken Garden Gate and is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.HistoryThe San Antonio Japanese Tea Garden in the U.S. state of Texas was developed on land donated to the city in 1899 by George Washington Brackenridge, president of the San Antonio Water Works Company. The ground was first broken around 1840 by German masons, who used the readily accessible limestone to supply the construction market. Many San Antonio buildings, including the Menger Hotel, were built with the stone from this quarry on the Rock Quarry Road.In 1880 the Alamo Cement Company was incorporated and produced cement for 26 years in the kiln, the chimney of which still stands today. Supporting the workforce of the quarry was a small "village", populated primarily by Mexican-Americans who worked the site. They and their families became popular with tourists, who purchased pottery, hand woven baskets, and food.About 1917, City Parks Commissioner Ray Lambert visualized an oriental-style garden in the pit of the quarry. His engineer, W.S. Delery, developed plans, but no work began until individual and private donors provided funds in 1918. Lambert used prison labor to shape the quarry into a complex that included walkways, stone arch bridges, an island and a Japanese pagoda.
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1,379 reviews
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  • This is nice to take a small stroll if you’re near DT SA and want to escape the city feel. It was relaxing and clean. There were 2 or 3 different leveled areas to walk through . One of those areas wal...  more »
  • We visited this architecturally beautiful well maintained garden on 03 Feb 2018; which is adjacent to San Antonio Zoo. Its beauty comes to its bloom in summer. It provides picturesque locations for fa...  more »
  • We were pleasantly surprised with our visit here. It is very picturesque, well maintained, and peaceful. And it's free! I am really glad we took the time to stop here.  more »
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