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La Villita

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Silent | 1942

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    The site of a Coahuiltecan Indian village in the 1500's, La Villita ("little town") has served as a location for home and work to generations of diverse settlers in the San Antonio area – from Native Americans, Spanish soldiers and Tejano rebels to German, Polish, and French immigrants. Following an extended period of decline, however, La Villita was described by San Antonio's Mayor Maury Maverick in the 1930s as a "slum of slums." With funding and support from the National Youth Administration, the City of San Antonio began the restoration and rebuilding of La Villita in 1939. Providing job training and employment to almost 2,000 area youths, the restoration of La Villita ultimately created a cultural and tourism center that continues to thrive in contemporary San Antonio.