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The legacy of Linda Pace in San Antonio

Learn how Ruby City grew from a dream and was brought into reality

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Camp Street is currently under construction + will connect to the San Pedro Creek.

Photo by Dror Baldinger, Courtesy of Ruby City and Adjaye Associates

Table of Contents

Ever heard of Ruby City? No, we’re not talking about Dorothy’s adventures to the Land of Oz (that’s Emerald City). However, this sparkling crimson building in Southtown features art + architectural works that are just as fantastical.

What is Ruby City?

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Founder of Ruby City (right) Linda Pace and artist Jesse Amado (left) in 1995.

Provided by Ruby City

The brainchild of art collector Linda Pace, Ruby City serves as a contemporary art center, housing works from local and internationally-renowned artists. The campus encompasses several structures including the main building, a studio space for special exhibitions, and Chris Parka one-acre public green space honoring her late son.

Visitors can browse through a museum that boasts 900+ paintings, sculptures, installations + video works which are all completely free to the public.

A literal dream come true…

Ruby City Sketch

Linda Pace’s original sketch of Ruby City.

Courtesy of Ruby City

As mentioned, Ruby City was the vision of the late Linda Pace, whose mother was a descendant of the family that once owned the Pearl Brewery.

Just three years after finishing her art degree at Trinity University, she founded Artpace. Since then, the nonprofit artist residency program has grown dramatically, having awarded residencies to 240+ artists. Former resident Isaac Julien nicknamed Pace “the artist’s collector” for her deep understanding of artists and their plight for art making.

Sometime after, Linda awoke from a dream with the image of a dazzling ruby structure. Using color pencil, she sketched her inspiration + shared it with world-renowned architect Sir David Adjaye OBE. And thus, Ruby City was born.

Linda Pace died on July 2, 2007 following a long battle with breast cancer. Her legacy lives on through her foundation which continues to preserve + grow the contemporary art community.

What to know before you visit:

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The now-standing Ruby City. | 📸 : @SATXtoday team

  • Check out the free parking at the intersection of Camp Street + S. Flores Street.
  • All Ruby City facilities are wheelchair accessible.
  • Ruby City does not offer a café. However, you can visit any of the surrounding local restaurants or plan a picnic at the park.
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