A century of innovation

From Brooks Air Force Base to Brooks City Base to Brooks

This area of South San Antonio has over a century of history to its name, including pioneering space exploration discoveries and a visit from President John F. Kennedy. Brooks Air Force Base was named after Sidney J. Brooks, a native San Antonian who was killed in a solo training flight en route back from Hondo to Kelly Field.

Many innovations were made at Brooks School of Aviation Medicine and then the School of Aerospace Medicine, including early flight instruments, the backpack parachute, and medical procedures such as MRIs and Lasik surgery.

After the Air Force Base was added to the BRAC (base realignment and closure) list, this corner of San Antonio went through many evolutions, until the 100th anniversary of the base in 1917. In 2017, the name was officially changed to Brooks to align with the identity as an up-and-coming community with a vision as big as Texas. Today, anyone can live, work, learn, play, or stay in the area as there are new residences, businesses, and job opportunities being added all the time.

Timeline

1917

Brooks Air Force Base San Antonio Texas

Army Air Corps Established

Brooks Field established as an Army Air Corps installation to provide advanced flying training for young cadets.

1927

military aviation plane Brooks San Antonio

Brooks Field Made Home to School of Aviation Medicine

School of Aviation Medicine moves to Brooks Field from New York.

 

1947

Brooks Field San Antonio Texas

Brooks Established as Air Force Base

Brooks Field becomes Brooks Air Force Base. To take off, pilots would chase jackrabbits through a field of grass and when they reached the same speed as the rabbit, they knew they were going fast enough to pull the stick back to go airborne.

1957

School of Aerospace Medicine Brooks San Antonio

New Facilities Built for School of Aerospace Medicine

Groundbreaking for new facilities at Brooks to house the School of Aerospace Medicine. Many aerospace medicine discoveries made at Brooks Air Force Base were used to develop modern medicine down on earth, including the invention of the MRI machine and Lasik surgery.

1995

Brooks Air Force Base San Antonio Texas

BRAC Closure List

Brooks placed on and then is removed from the BRAC closure list.

1997

Hangar 9 Brooks San Antonio Texas

Inception of City Base Concept

Planning between the Air Force and City of San Antonio produces “City Base Concept.”

1999

Brooks Air Force Base San Antonio Texas

Special Legislation

Congress enacts Brooks City Base Project special legislation; amends it in 2000.

2001

brooks Development Authority Brooks San Antonio

Brooks Development Authority Established

City of San Antonio establishes the Brooks Development Authority; State of Texas creates military base redevelopment authorities.

2002

historic sites San Antonio Texas Brooks

Creation of Brooks City Base

Brooks Air Force Base is conveyed to BDA creating “Brooks City Base,” a unique partnership among the U.S. Air Force, the City of San Antonio, the State of Texas and the Brooks Development Authority.

2005

Brooks Air Force Base San Antonio Texas

Air Force Missions Relocated

Air Force missions at Brooks City Base are designated to relocate as a result of 2005 BRAC decision.

2011

Brooks Air Force Base closes

Missions Operations Cease

Air Force mission presence at Brooks ceases on September 15; 94 years of military activity.

2013

Brooks San Antonio Texas

A New Mission

Brooks redefines its mission and vision as a catalyst of economic development that continues to enhance opportunities for those who live, work, learn and play here.

2016

Brooks named SA Tomorrow Regional Center

Brooks named SA Tomorrow Regional Center

Brooks was the first regional center adopted under the SA Tomorrow comprehensive plan for growth and development. SA Tomorrow covers land use, economic development, housing, environmental protection, preservation, and transportation.

2017

Brooks Full Service Hotel Lodging

Brooks Full Service Hotel Lodging

Brooks celebrated the official grand opening of the new Embassy Suites by Hilton San Antonio Brooks Hotel & Spa, the only full-service hotel or conference and event center south of downtown San Antonio and north of Corpus Christi or McAllen. The Brooks lodging options have been perfect for quick stays, business trips, family gatherings, weddings, small and large events.

2017

Brooks Quincetennial

Brooks Quincetennial

The former Brooks Air Force Base turns 100 years old, while the development known as Brooks City Base turns 15 years old, kicking off a unique year-long celebration called the Quincetennial. During this eventful year of milestones, Brooks City Base becomes Brooks to align our name with our identity as an up-and-coming community with a vision as big as Texas.

2017

Reopening of Hangar 9

Reopening of Hangar 9

Brooks celebrated the completion of a $2.8 million rehabilitation and restoration project of the historic Hangar 9 building. Hangar 9 is a San Antonio Historic Landmark listed in the Texas State Historical Survey, the National Register of Historic Places, and is a National Historic Landmark. The building is now utilized for business events and special gatherings.

2017

UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine

UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine

The University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine stands as one of the newest medical schools in Texas. Located on the Brooks campus, the UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine is a four-year program to learn osteopathic medicine creating future doctors to achieve success in the community.

2018

The Greenline Park opens

The Greenline Park opens

The 43 acres of green space known as The Greenline opened in April 2018 in the heart of Brooks. The linear waterfront park offers one mile of illuminated hike and bike trails and 1.5 miles of jogging trails for dog walking, outdoor games, barbecue at the pavilions, or even bringing kids to enjoy the play structure. The Greenline also features public art installations that are not only a great spot for selfies, but also serve as a reminder of our values and the people and institutions who made our future possible. Construction is currently underway to connect The Greenline to 15+ miles along the San Antonio River Mission Reach.

2018

Brooks named Opportunity Zone

Brooks named Opportunity Zone

There are 24 areas in San Antonio eligible for the federal government’s community development tax incentive program known as Opportunity Zones. Brooks secured the first actual investment under that program in the state of Texas, which establishes tax incentives to encourage private individuals to invest unrealized capital gains in projects located within high-poverty communities.

2018

Brooks named Business of the Year

Brooks named Business of the Year

Brook’s ability to bring global exposure to San Antonio by being home to the Okin BPS corporate headquarters and the Nissei Plastic Machinery America Inc.’s plant landed it at the top spot of 2018’s coveted San Antonio Business Journal Business of the Year.

2019

Brooks named San Antonio Innovation District

Brooks named San Antonio Innovation District

Among the first three innovation districts chosen by the City of San Antonio, Brooks has become a target pilot-project area where challenges are identified, and new ideas are tried in real-world settings in an effort to expand across San Antonio.

2019

Connecting the South Side to San Antonio with the Brooks Transit Center

Connecting the South Side to San Antonio with the Brooks Transit Center

The Brooks campus became home to VIA Metropolitan Transit’s Brooks Transit Center. This state-of-the-art, Wi-Fi-connected bus hub features convenient, high-frequency bus service along eight bus routes, including an Express route to downtown San Antonio and a new Primo route along Military Drive to VIA’s Kel-Lac Transit Center.

Brooks Air Force Base San Antonio Texas

1917


Brooks Field established as an Army Air Corps installation to provide advanced flying training for young cadets. During the early days of aviation, pilots only flew during the day, never at night or in bad weather.

military aviation plane Brooks San Antonio

1927


School of Aviation Medicine moves to Brooks Field from New York.

Brooks Field San Antonio Texas

1947


Brooks Field becomes Brooks Air Force Base. To take off, pilots would chase JACKRABBITS through a field of grass and when they reached the same speed as the rabbit, they knew they were going fast enough to pull the stick back to go airborne.

School of Aerospace Medicine Brooks San Antonio

1957


Groundbreaking for new facilities at Brooks to house the School of Aerospace Medicine. Many aerospace medicine discoveries made at Brooks Air Force Base were used to develop modern medicine down on earth, including the invention of the MRI machine and Lasik surgery.

Brooks Air Force Base San Antonio Texas

1995


Brooks placed on and then is removed from the BRAC closure list.

Hangar 9 Brooks San Antonio Texas

1997


Planning between the Air Force and City of San Antonio produces “City Base Concept.”

Brooks Air Force Base San Antonio Texas

1999


Congress enacts Brooks City Base Project special legislation; amends it in 2000.

brooks Development Authority Brooks San Antonio

2001


City of San Antonio establishes the Brooks Development Authority; State of Texas creates military base redevelopment authorities.

historic sites San Antonio Texas Brooks

2002


Brooks Air Force Base is conveyed to BDA creating “Brooks City Base,” a unique partnership among the U.S. Air Force, the City of San Antonio, the State of Texas and the Brooks Development Authority.

Brooks Air Force Base San Antonio Texas

2005


Air Force missions at Brooks City Base are designated to relocate as a result of 2005 BRAC decision.

Brooks Air Force Base closes

2011


Air Force mission presence at Brooks ceases on September 15; 94 years of military activity.

Brooks San Antonio Texas

2013


Brooks redefines its mission and vision as a catalyst of economic development that continues to enhance opportunities for those who live, work, learn and play here.

Live Brooks San Antonio Texas

2017


The former Brooks Air Force Base turns 100 years old, while the development known as Brooks City Base turns 15 years old, kicking off a unique year-long celebration called the Quincetennial. During this eventful year of milestones, Brooks City Base becomes Brooks to align our name with our identity as an up-and-coming community with a vision as big as Texas.