The Will Naylor Smith Memorial Plaza is an urban park that links the San Antonio Riverwalk to the nearby Veterans Plaza at the Tobin Center for Performing Arts. As part of the Tobin Center design team, Marmon Mok was retained to develop the surrounding site and renew a location that turned its back to the river. We created a pedestrian connection from the lower river level up eighteen feet to the street. The park includes an outdoor performance venue, a memorial for local Medal of Honor recipients, and vibrant congregation areas for theater-goers. The inclined walks that allow for natural pause points at each turnaround giving observers a moment of remembrance to read tributes of the heroes described on the monuments.

Materials for the project include onsite reclaimed limestone blocks from the existing building, North American black granite, bronze panels and native landscaping. All irrigation is recycled water and other sustainable features contributed to the LEED Silver certification given to the Tobin Center.

Concerts, movies, and private events have become a regular feature drawing visitors and residents to the open air venue under the vast Texas sky. The built up terraces give people a stop along their journey down San Antonio’s linear park with an added bonus of providing an excellent setting for viewing river parades that occur throughout the year. This performance plaza and public assembly space truly activate this portion of downtown to create a remarkable outdoor experience.

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Medal of Honor River Portal

July 8, 2014

Designed by Marmon Mok and Rialto Studios Landscape Architects, the plaza serves as an urban park, multi-function plaza and memorial creating a new link between the San Antonio Riverwalk and the city’s Veterans Memorial Plaza. Memorials honor service members with ties to San Antonio who received our country’s highest military award — the Congressional Medal of Honor. Watch a video slideshow of the Medal of Honor River Portal adjacent to the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.