Crews this week began demolishing the long-vacant Solo Serve building, a historic landmark constructed in the 1920s that was once the Bexar County Courthouse.
Demolition crews tore into the building Wednesday afternoon amid post-work traffic, making room for what will eventually be a nine-story hotel with a river-level restaurant by Austin-based Merritt Development Group and hotel developer Vista Host.
Soon, all that will be left of the original structure – a former department store between Soledad and East Houston streets – will be a historic 11-foot brick wall facing the River Walk. Developers plan to build a temporary public park on the northern quarter of the Solo Serve property until concrete plans for that parcel are established.
The Solo Serve, which “lost significance” over the years, according to the Office of Historic Preservation, was targeted in 2015 by Dallas-based Woodbine Development Corporation who wanted to construct a 21-story AC Hotel by Marriott at the site. Historic and Design Review commissioners and investors didn’t support that and similar efforts because they didn’t integrate well enough into the existing downtown landscape and adjacent River Walk.