The Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas was first considered as a gondola waterway by Robert Hugman - the man who designed and developed the famous Riverwalk. The idea of gondolas in Texas was a bit exotic in 1929; in fact when Hugman proposed the idea of “beautiful gondolas gliding across the waters of San Antonio” to one of the less traveled city officials, the official loved the idea but told Hugman that instead of importing several gondolas they could save money by just importing two and breeding them! Clearly the man had a different definition for "gondola". While the gondola is certainly as graceful and elegant as a swan, she is not a bird!
During the 1920’s a fleet of gondolas graced the waters of the Riverwalk. These gondolas plied the waters of the San Antonio River for several years; in fact the above postcard from 1942 depicts gondolas in a basin adjacent to the Plaza Hotel. This postcard is actually an artists rendering, but the history books confirm the presence of the gondolas.