The Hemisfair Conservancy and Bank of America, together with San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros, today announced the largest grant at Hemisfair to date.
The $750,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will complete the rehabilitation of the Kusch House — one of 21 remaining historic homes in Hemisfair that will be leased to small businesses to draw visitors to the park by providing amenities such as local cafés, restaurants and bookstores.
The economic stimulus from these activities helps revitalize the local community, and revenue generated by leasing the house will provide financial sustainability for Hemisfair, helping it become an urban park district for residents and visitors to enjoy.
“The neighborhood that existed here before the World’s Fair is a piece of the fabric that has shaped San Antonio for generations, and I’m encouraged to see Bank of America helping bring it back to life through investment in historic preservation efforts at Hemisfair,” Mayor Nirenberg said. “Residents and visitors alike will be able to witness the impact of Bank of America’s gift in action through the small business that moves into the Kusch House after its transformation.”
John Kusch, a stonemason, is believed to have constructed the 19th-century Gothic Revival house in 1885. City historical records indicate the house was owned by a member of the Kusch family until the ’68 World’s Fair.
“Hemisfair is a social and economic anchor in San Antonio that will serve as a catalyst for small business growth, and is expected to create more than 2,000 jobs and contribute $400 million to San Antonio’s economy annually,” said Jessica Miller, San Antonio market president for Bank of America. “Our philanthropic investment acknowledges the important role Hemisfair plays and demonstrates our commitment to economic mobility.”
This funding from Bank of America is the largest Anchor Grant the company has made in Texas as part of its focus on advancing economic mobility by supporting nonprofit organizations serving education and workforce, community development and basic needs.
“We can’t thank Bank of America enough for recognizing the community impact of Hemisfair’s aspirational vision, and for selecting us for this incredible grant,” said Anne Krause, executive director of the Hemisfair Conservancy. “The historic Kusch House is at the center of it all at Hemisfair, and this gift will have a multi-generational effect. We’re thrilled to recognize this generous contribution with the Bank of America Promenade.”
During Wednesday’s celebration, Hemisfair unveiled the Bank of America Promenade with a sign recognizing the bank’s contribution to the park. Participants were treated to a guided tour of the Kusch House, which will now begin rehabilitation and renovations to accommodate a park-activating small business.
The Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corporation (HPARC) was created by City Council in 2009 to redevelop the former site of the 1968 World’s Fair in San Antonio, Texas. HPARC is dedicated to the transformation of Hemisfair into a sustainable, self-funded urban district with residences, local businesses, unique programming and three parks—Yanaguana Garden, Civic Park (Phase II) and Tower Park (Phase III). Hemisfair is where San Antonio meets: it is a vibrant gathering place for a day with friends and the city’s biggest celebrations. HPARC is a 501(c)3 local government corporation, supported in part by the Hemisfair Conservancy, an independent 501(c)3. For more information, visit hemisfair.org and follow @hemisfair.
Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 66 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 4,300 retail financial centers, including approximately 2,800 lending centers, 2,600 financial centers with a Consumer Investment Financial Solutions Advisor and 2,000 business centers; approximately 16,800 ATMs; and award-winning digital banking with approximately 38 million active users, including approximately 29 million mobile users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and approximately 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Thea Setterbo, Hemisfair
Britney Sheehan, Bank of America