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Texas Forts Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

San Angelo


Photo by San Angelo CVB

CONCHO RIVER PEARL

San Angelo started out on the right foot for Texas heritage travelers, particularly when it comes to frontier history and early Texas architecture. The townsite, originally a trading post, evolved in tandem with nearby Fort Concho, established in 1867 along the banks of the Concho River. Twenty-three of the original forty native limestone fort structures survive, earning National Landmark status and providing a remarkable legacy of the region’s frontier past. In town, early San Angelo managed to capture the talents of Oscar Ruffini, one of Texas’ popular architects of the late 19th century, in order to build a courthouse and commercial buildings. The Ruffini courthouse was replaced with the1928 Tom Green Courthouse featuring eighteen columns across the facade, creating an imposing example of early 20th century design.

San Angelo is also a Main Street City success story as well as a First Lady Texas Treasure award winner. City residents and officials have worked with the Texas Historical Commission to restore its handsome, and historic, downtown and the city is busy revitalizing its riverfront property. San Angelo’s river waters also harbor the unique Concho pearl, a beautiful naturally-occurring gemstone of deep pink and lavender hues. The Texas Commission on the Arts has had a hand in creating a gem of another sort as well, honoring the city’s thriving art scene with a Cultural District designation. The San Angelo Cultural District links such sites as the Visitor Center, Fort Concho, the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts (a remarkable work of modern architecture), the Railroad Depot and Museum, the CCC-built Municipal Pool, the modern RiverStage – a venue for music and festivals, and artists’ studios, coops, and galleries together via a pedestrian walkway. The meandering walkway spans the Concho River, taking advantage of the leafy green shade along the river banks, and explores the many historic avenues of a city in renaissance.

San Angelo is the 2012 First Lady’s Texas Treasures Award recipient. See the story below


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Read more about San Angelo, TX in the Handbook of Texas Online.


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