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A Star-Studded Project: Working for Patrick Swayze

Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 10.44.53 AMG.W. Mitchell has had its fair share of encounters with local stars over the years, from San Antonio’s oldest Mexican restaurant to its most beloved art museum. Beyond our proud history of high-profile historical and commercial works, G. W. Mitchell also once had a very special honor: a job requested and paid for by the late Patrick Swayze himself.

As any Riverwalk tour guide can tell you, San Antonio landscapes have featured in a number of notable films over the years including Hollywood hits such as Miss Congeniality (2000), Spy Kids (2001), and small portions in the original Ghost Busters (1984). In 1993 Patrick Swayze’s Father Hood also benefitted from our city’s sights.

Fans of Father Hood may recognize the Downtown US Post Office on Houston street in a small portion of the movie. As fate would have it, this part was set to be recorded during G. W. Mitchell’s addition of the Alamo Sales Museum basement, which required work both on-site and on Houston street to meet the project’s unique needs. At the time of the movie crew’s arrival, G. W. Mitchell’s team was in peak demolition on the Alamo Sales Museum and surroundingAlamoMuseum Front WIP Cropped areas, disrupting filming.

Concerned about the noise and dust from the equipment, Swayze approached the construction team and asked if they could shut down for a time while the film crew caught their shot. Stan Motz, Superintendent for this job, worried about the pace of the project and explained that shutting down would bring up costs substantially. After some thought, Swayze came up with a unique solution: if Motz could give him an estimate, Swayze himself would pay to offset the additional coIMG_1905sts during filming.

With the approval of the Daughters’ of the Republic of Texas (the project owner), the plan worked, and both the Father Hood and Alamo Sales Museum basement were completed by 1993.

Despite many challenges, the Alamo basement construction project finished under budget and ahead of schedule. Though many parts of this job and its needs were unique, none were as memorable as the paid job it earned G. W. Mitchell with Hollywood star Patrick Swayze.

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