Walking Peacock Alley

Peacock Alley No1
Peacock Alley No1
In the recent past I was fortunate to work downtown within walking distance of Alamo Plaza. That gave me the opportunity to spend my lunch hours photographing on the street. One thing I quickly discovered is that tourists are not very interesting subject matter. Eventually I began to explore old streets and alleys of the city. Some areas in downtown go back to the eighteenth century Spanish colonial period well before Texas independence. Peacock Alley probably dates from the end of the nineteenth century about the time Teddy Roosevelt was in town recruiting Rough Riders. The city has always been a vibrant crossroads of cultures.

The alley runs just to one side of the Alamo serving the back doors of many businesses catering to local residents and tourists. Unlike the public face of the business district it exposes unvarnished aspects of the city. Within the mile length you can find some of the poorest residents in downtown and high end boutique hotels. It is an interesting place to do some amateur urban archaeology.

I was prompted to photograph there because the city is rapidly redeveloping areas near the Alamo. Given the pace of change, some places in these photos already look completely different. The residential hotels and old buildings in the area will soon be gone. Progress and change are relentless, no matter how much we would like to preserve the character of the city. San Antonio like all cities continuously renews itself while hopefully preserving at least some history. Peacock Alley has no history to preserve so it will redevelop in due course.

The photographs were shot during several early morning walks in varying lighting conditions. All were made from within the alley or a few steps beyond. Some show surrounding areas but most are of the alley itself. They follow in sequence from one end of the alley to the other. Some images are better than others but they all contribute to the body of work as a whole.


Author: Ken

Avid photographer and old guy technologist.