The building that houses the Institute of Texan Cultures, resting in the shadow of the Tower of Americas, is weird-looking or interesting, depending on your perspective. Much like an upside-down pyramid rising from the grounds of HemisFair Park, this 182,000-sq. ft. complex houses a museum, library, and archive, all under the administration of the University of Texas at San Antonio. The museum is a favorite of schoolchildren, who enjoy its educational exhibits, which trace the history of the region back to its Mexican, Spanish, German, French, Irish, Czech, and American Indian roots. Other ethnicities and cultures are included in the multicultural displays as well. This is the kind of museum where kids can step into cabins just like those of early Texans, churn butter, learn about crops, watch a spinning-wheel demonstration, and try out the primitive tools of early settlers. The library on the third floor contains manuscripts, rare books, personal papers, more than three-million historical photos, and hundreds of oral histories which the public can visit as well. The museum is centrally located, within walking distance of the Tower of Americas, La Villita, River Walk hotels, and the Alamo. While here, be sure to stroll the grounds of HemisFair Park. Plan on 1–1 1/2 hrs. for your visit.