Riverview Towers

Downtown San Antonio, Texas

At 4:18 a.m. on an autumn Saturday, a fire erupted that destroyed one of San Antonio’s oldest buildings. The Wolfsun Building shared a wall with the 21-story River View Tower. Fire shot through the shared wall, completely destroying several floors and sending smoke and water damage through most of the building. Recovery of the River View became a major project for JF&A.

When the destroyed Wolfsun was torn down, it left a major portion of the River View’s west wall exposed. The Riverview also suffered 82 broken windows, damaged window glazings and waterproofing. The Wolfsun had a basement, and JF&A had to reinforce the Riverview’s exterior structure to withstand the backfill when the basement was filled in.

The entire exterior had to be cleaned from stages dropped down from the roof, using mild acid and cleaning substances to remove smoke damage.

JF&A worked hard and steady on the project. The worst-hit floors, damaged by flame and firefighter staging, required framing, mechanical, electrical, carpet, (nearly 90,000 square feet of carpet was replaced in the building) and thorough smoke mitigation. Some floors were inhabited within weeks of the fire. All but one floor – the badly damaged 7th – was in full use by mid-December.