333 West Commerce Street
Entrance from Commerce Street or Entrance and parking on Laredo Street
La Zona is a Centro’s newest placemaking space. Hot off the extraordinary success of Peacock Alley, Centro moves west to Commerce Street. Utilizing art as a placemaking catalyst, this courtyard adjacent to Texas Public Radio headquarters, San Pedro Creek, and upcoming private developments has been activated with performance art, sculpture, murals, music, and hyper-local offerings infused with a distinctive San Antonio flavor! La Zona breathes new life into this long-abandoned block and marries a respect for our history, culture, and community with a nod to our cool and exciting future.
Zona Cultural is a 44-block historic district on the western edge of downtown San Antonio, rich with cultural institutions, markets, and public gathering places. As “the birthplace of San Antonio,” it enjoys a strategic location within the city, welcomes visitors year-round, and is home to many established businesses and long-term residents. Featuring popular destinations like Main Plaza and Market Square, the blocks of Zona Cultural are home to clusters of artistic and commercial activity.
However, these activity hubs have historically been disjointed in terms of design aesthetic and physical access. Streets and public spaces lacked a consistent, coherent identity and were often challenging to navigate. These conditions inspired the development of the 2017 Zona Cultural Urban Design and Streetscape Master Plan, intended to revitalize San Antonio’s cultural zone through design and placemaking interventions. The vision and design framework outlined in the Master Plan helped attract initial investments, which began to strengthen connections and fortify a unified, recognizable design lanquage. This 2021 Master Plan Update builds upon the foundational work of the original Master Plan and further details design guidelines and improvements to incrementally shape Zona Cultural into a more cohesive, vibrant, and authentic urban center that will better tell the story of San Antonio and showcase its distinct culture.
La Zona In The News
La Zona is already an up-and-coming and talked about space for San Antonians to enjoy. Read more in the publications below.
“San Antonio adds newest hot spot as La Zona kicks off summer lineup” – San Antonio Express-News, June 10, 2022
“Inaugural Nomad Music Festival spotlights San Antonio, national artists” – Texas Public Radio, June 14, 2022
“Art Everywhere” in La Zona
In LOST (Not Forgotten), San Antonio artist, Jeff F. Wheeler borrows from a series he began early in the pandemic lockdown. Entitled, LOST IN TEXAS, the series became a tribute to the souls we were losing each day to Covid.
In the Gao Brother’s Sculpture, Mao Zedong, in miniature feminized form, is perched atop founding Soviet Premier Vladimir Lenin’s head. After months of negotiation, it arrived in San Antonio in March of 2022, arranged by James Lifshutz and Centro’s Art Everywhere Project and installed on private property, here in La Zona. Coincidentally, just weeks before, the world had turned its focus to Russian military aggression due to their invasion of Ukraine; this cast an entirely new light on the political resonances of the piece.
In front of the Texas Public radio headquarters, the name of the mural is Los Colores De Los Nativos “The colors of the natives,” It’s all about the inspiration and the love the artist has to share with everyone through his art. Spreading positivity and resilience through tough times, the artist says “anything is possible so keep your head up there’s a whole world waiting for you to spread love unconditionally!”
Zona Cultural is a crossroads of culture, commerce and community; a destination celebrating the story of San Antonio through music, food, culture, and the arts. Zona Cultural is the birthplace of San Antonio; home to many of the city’s most historic and iconic locations and institutions, including Main Plaza, Plaza de Armas, Market Square, Alameda Theater, and San Fernando Cathedral. Zona Cultural’s history tells San Antonio’s history – from a presidio to a bustling and vibrant global city.
And yet, despite a rich history and a central location in the heart of the City, the area has struggled to find its voice and capitalize on its unique position. Zona Cultural currently lacks a clear identity, but is rather a loose mix of perspectives and stories told by different voices.
With significant new public and private investment happening within and around the area, the time for Zona Cultural to take steps to realize its potential is now! A recent State designation recognizing Zona Cultural as a certified Cultural District has helped galvanize support from local stakeholders and has given greater cachet to Zona Cultural.
Zona Cultural’s boundaries have expanded to include areas to both the east and west of Interstate 35. Each side of the interstate has very different characteristics.