The area, including Travis Park, was once part of the upper farmlands of Mission San Antonio de Valero (today called the Alamo). After the mission was closed, the land was sold to Francisco Garcia in 1819, and in 1851 to Samuel Augustus Maverick, who lived at the northwest corner of Alamo Plaza and used this property for his orchard.
In recent years, the park has benefited from improvement projects through the generosity of the San Antonio Parks Foundation, which was formed in 1981 to build support for the restoration of the deteriorated park. Work on the park began in 1982 with a contribution of $125,000 from the St. Anthony Hotel. Other founding sponsors included San Antonio Bank and Trust, Trammel Crow Co., Miller High Life, Southwestern Bell, Church’s Fried Chicken and First Federal Savings and Loan. Combined with a grant from the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife Local Park fund, contributions for Travis Park improvements totaled more than $400,000. That year the Foundation sponsored the first outdoor jazz festival in the park called Jazz’SAlive.
With a Halsell Foundation Grant in 1999 the Parks Foundation was able to provide 27 park benches at a cost of $30,000 as well as an expansion and update of the irrigation system at a cost of $5,000 with the help of Home Depot volunteer labor. The Parks Foundation also contributed $25,000 for new sod for the park in 2002.