Thursday: Then and Now

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The Reptile Garden in Brackenridge Park may seem like an oddity now, but when it opened in 1933 it was a popular attraction for San Antonio residents.  It came to its final location in 1939 and entertained visitors until its closure in 1975 when the manager retired and took his “collection” to Arkansas.

Click on the link to read about the Reptile Farm.

A large pool probably held alligators.  Photo taken 11/5/2013
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Photo on marker in front of former location of Reptile Garden.  From the Witte Museum collection.

The crumbling remains were removed when the nearby Witte Museum undertook a significant expansion.  Today a grassy lawn occupies the space where snake pits and houses and alligator pits once existed.


Photo take 7/17/2020.  The low rock wall in the middle of photo appears to be a remnant from the Reptile Garden.


I have a feeling if it was still open today it would still be a popular place.  Sadly, only a few people remember visiting this unique attraction.

These two rock pillars appear to be the ones at the gate of the Reptile Garden.  Photo taken 7/17/2020

4 thoughts on “Thursday: Then and Now

  1. Time moves on and the world changes. Sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. This looked like it would have been a wonderful place to visit. I do believe people would visit it today if it was still open. There is an alligator farm in Hot Springs, Arkansas. I have been there a couple of times.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I went to Brackenridge many times as a youngster but I do not recall ever visiting the Reptile Garden. I recall the Reptile House in the Zoo, though, and when they had elephant rides at the zoo. Times have indeed changed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s fun to see the remnants of the old reptile farm. When I visit places I knew as a child, I enjoy seeing what has changed (and what has stayed the same across the years).

    Liked by 1 person

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