John Kriken

Chief site architect- San Antonio Fair, Inc. 1966 – 1968

In July of 2016 I had the pleasure of talking with Mr. Kriken about his memories of working in the Fair’s Architectural and Planning department and the evolution of the design of the Fair site. Below are some of his memories 🙂

How did you become involved with HemisFair ’68 and what did you do?

Well I say it all started for me back in the early 60’s when I was drafted into the U.S. Army and became part of the Army Medical Core, as a result I was sent to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio for training. While I was there I invited to a party which had people from all areas of the the artisitc community there in San Antonio, which included a few architects. That is where I first met local architects Allison Peery & O’Neil Ford, having earned my BA in Architecture before I was drafted Al Peery invited me to do some work in his office on weekends. While there I was involved in several revitlization projects on the west side of San Antonio and had a great time there.

After I completed my service in the U.S. Army I contacted Al and he invited me to move to San Antonio and join the HemisFair ’68 project. Having visited the ’62 World’s Fair in Seattle and the ’64 / ’65 World’s Fair in New York City I was intreiged by it all and thought it would be a great oppertunity. After joining the Fair project I eventually became the Chief site Architect

What do you remember most about the Fair’s design offices?

We had a studio in the Fair offices located across the street from the site in the old German / American school buildings which is now apart of the Marriott Plaza Hotel. A lot of us architects who worked for Allison Peery, O’Neil Ford and Cyrus Wagner all lived near by in the King William district so we had a short comute to and from the studio every day.

What do you remember most of the evolution of the site design?

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