100 YEARS STRONG
The San Angelo Chamber of Commerce has had much to celebrate and much to mourn in 2016. Our kickoff event of the year, the Chamber’s Annual Banquet, was a huge celebration of the organization’s 100th anniversary with a look back at a century of progress and a look forward to a bright future. Little did we know that one week after our event, we would lose our Chamber President of 10 years, Phil Neighbors, to a sudden cardiac event.
Although we suffered a monumental loss, our chamber has survived and thrived because San Angelo has done what we do best — ... (click Read More below)
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Portraits of San Angelo
Here are a few things, in no particular order, you’ll want to know about the city, its people and its wealth of resources.
In the reception area of the San Angelo Visitor Center, guests can enjoy the quiet rock, timber and glass space overlooking the Concho River while browsing through a library of literature and information about the city and its features. Friendly, knowledgeable hosts are ready to answer any questions.
The view out the glass wall reveals the downtown skyline, including the iconic Cactus Hotel, and in the foreground a slope of rock and flowing water surrounds larger-than-life bronze statues of the two Angelas, Santa Angela de la Garza and Angela DeWitte, women who embody the founding spirit of education and faith that has shaped the city since its beginning.
The 12,000-square-foot building, with its graceful sweep mirroring the river over which it stands, was designed by Kinney-Franke Architects and opened in 2004. Three years later, it won a Texas Society of Architects design award. In addition to the visitor center, the building is home to the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce offices and the San Angelo Health Foundation, which owns the building and land.
The Buffalo Soldiers were an African-American unit of the U.S. Army formed in the wake of the Civil War, and 2016 marked the 150th anniversary of its establishment. Buffalo Soldiers made up part of the troops stationed at Fort Concho, the frontier settlement around which the city of San Angelo grew.
The fort is now Fort Concho National Historic Landmark and the center of year-round social and cultural activities, many of which involve Buffalo Soldier re-enactors.
Among the Buffalo Soldiers who served at Fort Concho was Lt. Henry O. Flipper, the first black graduate from West Point. A street on one side of the fort is named in his honor.
Stephens Central Library
A massive private fundraising drive to establish a new central library branch in downtown San Angelo culminated in 2011 with the completion of the Stephens Central Library, built in the redesigned shell of a vacant 1950s department store. The three-story library became one of the architectural marvels of the city and includes a community meeting room on the top floor with a rooftop garden.
A central venue for activities, the library features print as well as electronic media, a café in the entrance area, a children’s library, a book store, meeting rooms, an area for teens on the second floor and uniquely West Texas design touches throughout the building.
San Angelo State Park
The 7,600-acre wild lands of San Angelo State Park lie on the northwest boundary of the city, offering easily accessed outdoor activities that include camping, swimming, picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The park is also home to the official Texas State Longhorn herd and a herd of bison.
Park staff and volunteers offer orienteering courses, tours, stargazing parties and other activities. The park includes 50 miles of trails and many equestrian events during the year.
This year is a big one for the performing arts in San Angelo. The City Auditorium, a 1,200-seat Victorian style theater attached to City Hall in downtown, is under renovation and expected to open to performances in late 2016 or 2017.
The elegant theater, which had fallen into disrepair since its opening in 1928, is being rebuilt to incorporate modern infrastructure while preserving its early 20th Century design features. A significant part of the multimillion dollar project was funded by a $3 million gift from a local philanthropist and champion of the arts, Elta Joyce McAfee.
The theater, home to the San Angelo Symphony and the San Angelo Civic Ballet, will be expanded by the addition of a large backstage area which will allow larger productions, such as traveling musical theater performances, to be staged here.
The Chicken Farm Art Center
Founded by visionary artist Roger Allen in 1971, the Chicken Farm Art Center is an artists’ colony set up in a quiet corner of North San Angelo that at one time was home to a chicken farm.
The site, described by Allen as “a place for artists to live and work in West Texas,” now hosts more than a dozen artists’ studios and holds regular open houses and other public events to bring artists and the community together. The farm also includes a top-rated bed-and-breakfast and one of the top-rated restaurants in the city.
Chicken Farm artists offer an array of courses in a variety of arts throughout the year.
An airport looking to the future
The San Angelo Regional Airport celebrated the completion of a massive passenger terminal renovation in December 2015. The project, funded mainly by the federal government, invested $6 million to modernize the workings and appearance of the building, which is often the first place visitors see when coming to the city.
The airport served more than 66,000 commercial passengers in 2015. Five scheduled flights daily run between San Angelo and Dallas-Fort Worth from the facility.
"Cecil A. Ross Investment & Insurance group has been a proud sponsor of Business @ Happy Hour in November of 2012 and 2013. Each event brought in over 200 people to our office. I highly recommend Business @ Happy Hour to all Chamber members who wish to keep in touch with business leaders in our community. Each event has led to new relationships and significant business opportunities.
- Christy Ross, Director of Client Relations Cecil A. Ross Investment & Insurance Group