“Grotto” by San Antonio artist Carlos Cortés is a three-story, dream-like sculpted structure located in a bend of the river between the Camden and Newell Street bridges, adorning both the roadway and riverway. “Grotto” features craggy faces carved into cave-like walls, splashing waterfalls and surrealistic, winding passageways with eerily realistic stalagmites and stalactites.

Cortés is a third generation Faux Bois (false wood) concrete artist. Besides the many hand-carved decorations or artist “follies,” the grotto features benches, recessed lighting, a picnic area and a street-level stairway leading into the jaws of a giant jaguar head. Directly across the river on street level, Cortés constructed a palapa–a thatched-roof shade structure with benches sprouting from wood, all carved in concrete.

“Grotto” is included in the San Antonio River Foundation’s collection. Learn more at

Location: River

Medium type: Concrete

Date created: 2009

Associated artists

Carlos Cortés
Carlos Cortés


1277 Camden Street, San Antonio, TX, 78215

Additional Information

Accession Number: 2009.COR.1
District: 1
Location: Museum Reach - Camden and Newell Street
Location Interior/Exterior: Exterior
Artist URL:

Contact information



San Antonio Public Art Map