Monday, November 4, 2013

Joske Pavilion

The Joske Pavilion has hosted many events since its construction in 1926 and is regarded as one of Brackenridge Park's signature structures.

The pavilion was built with a $10,000 bequest to the city of San Antonio from the estate of Alexander Joske, a prominent retailer.  This bequest was given in memory of Julius Joske and Albert Joske. The nomination form for Brackenridge Park to the National Register of Historic Places describes the pavilion as being built of  "dark random course stone".  The pavilion was renovated as part of the city's park renovation project during 2003-2006; the funds came from a $6.5 million bond issuance.

The structure was designed by Emmett Jackson, a prominent architect in the San Antonio area.  He designed many buildings still in use today, and collaborated with other architects on major projects such as the Municipal Auditorium. He designed several structures for Brackenridge Park.

There is a very large fireplace on the south end of the structure.  It is topped with a dome cap with arched openings similar to the arches on the sides of the pavilion.  The north end of the structure has an Alamo-type parapet.

The buttresses appear to be wood but are really painted concrete.

The Alamo-style parapet was a very common feature on buildings built during the 1920's
This is the north end of the building, seen from the inside

The Pavilion has four windows patterned after the Rose Window at Mission San Jose.  This was another popular building motif in the 1920's.

The Joske Pavilion is located on the land inside a u-shaped curve of the river.  The river flows close to the east side of the pavilion and then curves around the little island to the west.

South of the pavilion are 19 picnic tables, benches and fire pits built by the Works Project Administration (part of the New Deal) during 1938-1940.  Like most of the picnic areas in this park, they are usually occupied.


  1. Amazing! As many times as I was in Brackenridge Park, I don't recall having visited this location. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Beautiful, historic building. The open-air design lends itself to cool mornings among the greenery and water.