A major turning point in the development of Alamo Plaza was the construction of the Menger Hotel in 1857 (Everett 1975:116). This establishment became the center of activity for the growing influx of visitors and businessmen into this part of town. Its brewery, catering to the increasing German immigration into San Antonio, became a social center drawing others to the neglected eastern bank of the river. The area soon acquired a predominantly European nature. The establishment of the German-English school in 1858 and the founding of St. Joseph's Church in 1868 added a German flavor.
This encouraging expansion, no doubt fostered at least in part by Riotte, was to be abruptly curtailed by events totally unforeseen in the formative years of the development. The growth of the area was badly hampered by three unrelated events.
(…) By the onset of the Civil War, both Giddings and Riotte had disposed of the bulk of their lots, and residences had been established along much of Crockett and Blum streets. None of the Devine lots on Commerce Street had been sold and the Alameda remained a park as it had been since the days of the Spanish government. No further development was to occur until after the conclusion of the conflict.