Urrutia on View with San Antonio History
What an interesting evening, attending the Institute of Texan Cultures opening of "San Antonio 1860s to 1990s: a Photographic Chronology," curated by Tom Shelton, Senior Curator of Library Special Collections. Several familia Urrutia photographs are exhibited along with hundreds of other historic images of our city. One, similar to the one in the newsclipping shown above, shows the 1971 demolition of the Clínica Urrutia y Farmacia as a result of "urban renewal" at the time, as captured by a staff photographer of the local paper.
Dr. Aureliano Urrutia built the nearly square-block clinical complex in 1926 at the northeast corner of Houston and Laredo where the Rosa Verde Towers now stand. The practice was staffed by Dr. Aureliano Urrutia and several of his sons and daughters. His son Hector was a well-respected dentist, and his sons Carlos and Adolfo (my grandfather) performed surgery, caring for thousands of patients alongside their father. Urrutia's eldest daughter, Refugio, a trained pharmacist, headed the pharmacy for its duration, and other daughters, Emma, Alicia, Dolores and Maria Luisa all worked there at various times. It was a commonly held understanding that anyone who came to the clinic or pharmacy was served, regardless of their ability to pay.
At the time of the demolition, Refugio voiced her sadness, stating that she had travelled the world but had never seen a more beautiful pharmacy, and expressing that she felt the building should be preserved. Urrutia retired in 1959 at the age of 87. The Clínica was vacated in 1968.
San Antonio 1860s to 1990s: a Photographic Chronology, at the Institute of Texan Cultures, runs from August 4 2018 to March 31, 2019.
Read more: Miraflores: Doctor Urrutia's Lost Garden.