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St. Mary’s Street Parking Garage

Garage Entry
View from South
Signage Detail
Public Art
Detail of Terrazzo Shoes

Public art, urban design gestures, and efficient planning seamlessly merge to transform a necessary but usually utilitarian program into a vibrant and people-scaled contribution to Downtown San Antonio’s public realm.

Designed to fit comfortably in an urban context, this six-level parking garage contains ground floor retail and commercial space along St. Mary’s Street to maintain the traditional street level character. Architectural compositional elements are used to the perceived impact of the mass of the structure accommodating 750 cars. Strong horizontal elements help break down the six levels of the buildings, including the horizontal canopies at the first-floor level. Vertical elements establish a bay system as well as a rhythm along the street.

City of San Antonio
San Antonio, Texas
330,000 SF / 700 cars
Completed 2006

Public art and distinctive graphics punctuate the entrances and corners of the building and act as an interior wayfinding system. At ground level the public art is an integral part of the lobby floor and composed of over scaled shoe images made of precast terrazzo and placed inside a larger terrazzo field.

Humorous text and the placement of the shoes create a whimsical and approachable art piece that swirls around the lobby and leads to the outside where the shoes wander down the street. The shoe types are easily identifiable as a particular style. Different shoe styles mark the entry to the elevator on each floor to serve as a memory device for patrons. (“I’m on the high heels floor!”) The appropriate shoe image is then reused as a part of the signage at the elevator call buttons.

What's remarkable about the design is the fine grain of its response to the needs of the public realm, without slighting the building's own internal program.

Mike Greenberg - San Antonio Express News Senior Critic

Project Team


Structural | IES
MEP | Barron Engineering
Civil | IES
Landscape | Laffoon Associates
Parking/Traffic | DeShazo Group
Cost | Project Cost Resources

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