It finally looks a little more like winter with gray skies and bare branches, but this seems like another year without the temperatures to match.

My house is bristling with chimneys so you’d imagine it would be producing curling plumes of wood smoke suitable for a Currier and Ives Christmas Card.

They ring the house like towers on top of a fortress from the Middle Ages. The largest of them corbels out from its base, if I squint it reminds me of the silhouette of the Torre del Mangia in Siena or the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.

The defending army at these ramparts turns out to be squirrels hurling pecan shells rather than guardsmen flinging boiling oil or rocks. It’s still my castle, just the same.

And there is no smoke pouring forth, because the house doesn’t have a single fireplace. These chimneys once served as the flues for a collection of coal burning stoves, one in the corner of every room. They are all capped with tin hats now, barring the rodent army from the interior of the house.

Shortly after I bought the house I found myself sitting at a desk in the County Tax Appraiser’s Office...

A series of limited edition holiday ornaments has been created as part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the King William Association.

Images are from the illustrated book “Caroline Shelton Paints King William Street San Antonio Texas.”

Each year, a different home will be featured on these collectible ornaments.

The Ike West house is the first, and will be available for $10 at the Home Tour and Holiday Fair in King William Park on December 3.

Look for more official King William Association merchandise at our booth in King William Park near the corner of King William Street and Turner Street.

See you there!

According to the LOCAL Community News “San Antonio budgets about $1.2 million a year for graffiti abatement. A 15-member team labors six days a week, aided by 2,500 volunteers.” Graffiti includes painting, glass etching, “slaps” and stickers.

Although the motivations behind tagging and graffiti vary, experts agree it is important to clean or remove the tagging immediately. A clean building, sign, electrical box, or wall sends the message that vandalism is not appropriate in our neighborhood. Help keep our neighborhood clean by volunteering to be a block captain. Also, the KWA office has graffiti wipes that easily clean paint off of metal – just come by the office to pick some up. Together we can help keep King William clean. - Cherise Bell

KWA NNO organizers Josie Garcia, Ethel Pedraza and Nelda Burch, with Sheldon Shea from the Texas Masonic Lodge #8 AF & AM and our neighborhood fire fighters from Station #7

Big red fire engine, handsome fire fighters, and Sparky the Fire dog along with his best friend McGruff came together to take a bite out of crime the evening of October 4. King William celebrated NNO in style, joined by Texas Lodge #8. These gentlemen grilled over 100 hotdogs with all the trimmings, add a six-foot sub and you’ve got the makings of a celebration. Mr. Ramos with KONO kept those oldies but goodies coming while everyone enjoyed visiting with neighbors and friends. Thanks to all who came out and enjoyed a lovely evening.

KWA board member Patty Garcia (standing) with neighbors Roger Martines, Mari Feist and Henry Botello

A special thanks to Sheldon Shed, NNO organizer for Texas Lodge #8 and to the KWA Social Committee for all their time and efforts in organizing this event. We also want to thank everyone who showed their support of the SA Food Bank by bringing a jar of peanut butter. We collected 14 jars and a cash donation! This is awesome! Thank you! - Josie Garcia

Past President Harry Shafer, KWA ED Cherise Bell, current KWA President Chris Price and Cheryl Bell

 

The KWA Architectural Advisory Committee (AAC) is comprised of association residents – including licensed architects – who volunteer their time to evaluate cases that are presented to the City of San Antonio Historic and Design Review Commission (HDRC), for discussion and recommendation. Any property owner who desires to make changes to the exterior of their property, or to their site (front, side or back yard), must make application to the HDRC. This application process is handled through the City’s Office of Historic Preservation (OHP). Once the OHP staff reviews the case (project request), they make a staff recommendation, and then forward the King William neighborhood cases (and others that have an impact on the neighborhood) to the AAC, so that our neighborhood can weigh in and provide commentary to the HDRC as part of the public input process.

Although most of the cases that are reviewed include additions, renovations, requests to change out windows (which are not often approved), fence installations, landscaping and site improvements (walkways, driveways, etc.), new roofing, and material replacements, more recently, there have been many cases that include requests to install solar panels, understandably due to the CPS rebates that are being offered. As the KWA committee that is...

You still have a chance to view Toro’s delightful “Westi Lost in the Park” series of colorful paintings at the offices of King William Association. Toro is a local artist and native Texan with a studio at Lonestar Art Space. After attending the San Antonio Art Institute in the 1990s, he was encouraged by his mentor, Linda Pace, to travel abroad. Toro studied in the Netherlands and traveled to Jerusalem.

Once home and working on his paintings, Toro began to experiment with homemade pigments. He was searching for a certain quality with an aluminum effect. His frustration in finding what he was searching for led him to mix different organic and inorganic items into paints. He started by cutting up aluminum cans with pliers. The pieces were not fine enough and this led him to using a coffee grinder to make a finer grade. Once he learned how to make his own paint, he found a mill in Houston to make his required ingredient.

Toro continued to experiment with adding flower petals, seeds, crushed chipotle peppers and bee pollen to his pigments. He finally achieved the qualities that he was looking for. These paints are used with great effect in his paintings. Plan to stop by during office hours to see his colorful expressions before the exhibit ends. - Nora Peterson

Fall Highlights-Parents, students and teachers shared an evening of discussion about curriculum and instruction during our Open House events in September (K-2) and October (3rd – 8th). Information for the Gifted and Talented Program was presented and the School, Parent and Student Compacts were shared. It takes a community to support every child.

WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) Over 60 fathers attended the first event to form the Bonham Academy chapter of the Watch D.O.G.S. Program on October 13.

Fathers, grandfathers, uncles and other father-figures volunteer at least one full day during the school year at an official WATCH D.O.G.S. school. These men work right alongside the educators, play at recess, eat lunch with students, watch the school entrances and hallways, assist with traffic flow and any other assigned activities where they actively engage with students.

The two primary goals of the program are to provide positive male role models for the students, demonstrating by their presence that education is important, and to provide extra sets of eyes and ears to enhance school security and reduce bullying.

Fall Festival Bonham Academy will once again host its annual Fall Festival on November 4. We anticipate...

At last, that lonely Mission Road Power Plant will soon undergo a big change. The historic plant at Mission Road and Highland Boulevard will be transformed into a world-class center that will serve as a cradle for invention and a catalyst for clean energy innovation and technological advancement.

“EPI” stands for “Energy, Partnerships and Innovation.” The $74 million center will be unique in the country in terms of combining a think tank, incubation/start-up space (similar to Geekdom), fabrication laboratory, museum and conference center focusing on new energy innovation - all in one place. Its estimated opening is in 2020.

EPIcenter will:

Showcase a range of clean, new energy technologies through facility installations and changing exhibitions;

Inspire new development by co-locating advancing companies from all other the world with members of the clean energy and technical community at a single facility to spur collaboration and creativity;

Educate professionals, students and local, state, national and...

Something like fall has finally arrived on our neighborhood streets. The trees are debating whether they agree with this fact and are undecided about dropping their leaves. My fig tree and the pecans have already carpeted the lawn and terrace with their summer clothing, the red oaks are still waiting for their cue on the arboreal striptease stage.

With the shade diminishing the unfiltered, dramatic, raking light of fall becomes more evident. The lower angle of the sun seems to create sharper contrast between light and shadow, crisper, more defined edges in the chiaroscuro scene that’s framed by bare branches.

The effect of the descending sun is dramatic in the dining room, radiating below the half drawn shades and making the lace curtains blaze with the fire-light of sunset. These windows are my observatory where I chart the arc of Phaeton through the seasons.

On the porches the setting sun probes the soffits, illuminating what was all in shade for the summer, as if a spotlight was being deliberately aimed upward.

The summer’s shield of giant bamboo and trees to the west is losing its welcome function as the sun moves to the south, blinding a sunset watcher’s gaze on the back porch...

Each year, Centro San Antonio recognizes those who have made a significant contribution to downtown with the “Downtown’s BEST” Awards. Initiated in 2001, the awards are divided among multiple categories that celebrate people, organizations and places that support downtown San Antonio. The BEST Awards Program is a juried event and awards are presented at an annual program.

Based on our partnership with the City on transit issues, KWA nominated the City Center Development Office (CCDO) for a “Best Award.” CCDO received this year’s Best Award for Private/Public Partnership as a result of our nomination. In addition, KWA nominated King William in the category of “BEST place to live.” This category, as well as “BEST place to eat,” were awarded based on popular vote. This is the third year in a row that King William has won Best Neighborhood and the fifth year in a row we have received an award from Centro. - Rose Kanusky

A view of the King William Fair as painted in watercolor by Caroline Shelton, 1977. This print is part of a larger folio depicting King William Street, created in the Japanese Makimona style and measuring 8 ½” X 10 ½” X 16’.

 

The King William Association Home Tours and Fairs not only celebrate and preserve history, they have made history as well. On Saturday, December 3 the KWA is going to kickoff a yearlong celebration for the 50th anniversary of its establishment in 1967 with a Holiday Home Tour and Fair.

K W A ’ s first home tour took place December 1967 with a tour of association president Ray Dobie’s home at 316 King William Street at a cost of $1 per person. Thus began the association’s goal of working on a history of the homes’ occupants during years past as well as its activism on behalf of the area. That year the issue was streetlights and the slogan “Write for Light” to city hall.

The first King William Fair took place April 1968 during San Antonio’s Fiesta and HemisFair ‘68. This included a tour of some historic houses in the neighborhood. The Fair and Home Tours were held in April at the same time through 1988. That year, there was also a Candlelight Tour of Homes in November.

An item in the San Antonio Light on April 26, 1985 gives an apt description of our beloved...

King William Association Holiday Home Tour & Fair

Saturday, December 3, 2016

FREE Holiday Fair: 10:00 am- 5:00 pm

Home Tour: 11:00 am-5:00 pm

 

 

Join the Festivities as KWA Prepares to Celebrate its 50 Year Anniversary!

KWA is “Kicking-Off” its 50th Anniversary with a Holiday Home Tour & Fair. In a nod to past years when the Home Tour & Fair were held on the same day, we are adding a Fair to this year’s biennial tour of seven King William Historic homes.

 

The Holiday Fair will take place around the gazebo in King William Park on Turner and King William Streets. The hours are from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. In addition to art & craft vendors, food, beverages, fun activities, Santa, and live entertainment, KWA will be selling collectible holiday ornaments and a 50th Anniversary commemorative medal and T-shirts. The Fair is Free to attend, while the home tour has an admission fee.  

 

The seven residences on the Home Tour will be conveniently located near the fair. Tour includes: Oge House, Noble Inns-209 Washington; 112 King William; SA Art League and Museum- 130 King William; 202 King William; 203 King William; 208 King William; and Villa Finale Museum and Gardens- 401 King William  Pre-sale ($15) tickets for the Home Tour and Food/Beverage Tickets for Holiday Fair are available to purchase here and day of event ($20) tickets will be available for the tour. The Home Tour starts at 11 am and ends at 5 pm.

 

PURCHASE PRE-SALE TICKETS BY 12/02, 5 PM, HERE:

 

That same day, Beethoven Maennerchor will have its annual Free Kristkindlmarkt at 422 Pereida St. 78210http://www.beethovenmaennerchor.com/

Enjoy one or all the events! December 3, 2016.

Mark your calendars NOW so you won’t miss out on the celebration.

 

 

 

122 Madison St. * San Antonio, TX 78204 * www.ourkwa.org 

During the past decade, King William has witnessed how the property taxation applied to residential owners is overwhelmingly disproportionate to other properties such as commercial, institutional, industrial, amusement, and other uses. This has frustrated many King William homeowners. And the fly in the ointment: we continue to receive unfair taxation assessments, which were never properly adjusted during the housing collapse from 2008-2012. The Bexar County Appraisal District (BCAD) is not a mirror to the housing market, despite the proclamations they claim.

Why have assessed/appraised values fallen out of sync with the average homeowner? Short answer: Texas is a non-income tax state. It needs property taxation to generate the majority of its revenues. Taxing authorities use the open, imperfect, Multiple-Listing-Service (MLS) to extract sales data – even if actual sales did not occur.

Under the Texas Taxpayer Bill of Rights, we have a right to...

That young women who just took a picture of your house could be just another tourist, but look more closely - she is Isabel Howard, the KWA intern helping to document the architectural style of our homes. She will be working in the neighborhood in October and November gathering information which will be included in our revision of Mary Burkholder’s classic book, The King William Area.

Isabel is a 5th-generation Texan and a lover of history. She received her undergraduate degree in History of Art and Architecture at Middlebury College in Vermont, and is now glad to be back in Texas. She served as a historic parks consultant for the Alamo Plaza and Travis Park plans for the City of San Antonio, and is now in the Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation Program at UTSA. - Jessie Simpson

The Magic of Autumn is here. The nights are longer and the mornings are dark. Please be extra careful the mornings these days, when it is still dark while children make their way to school. Be mindful of crosswalks and school zones. Hang up and drive – cell phone use is not allowed in vehicles in school zones.

When my son was in second grade, one of his classmates was hit by a truck on the way home after school. The boy could not remember his name nor his parents’ names, but he knew his teacher’s name! That was how the first responders were able to notify his parents. While this was terrible for the child and his family, thankfully, the child suffered no permanent injuries. However, the event was a terrible experience for the driver of the truck as well. You do not want to be the person who hits a child with your vehicle.

Now we are celebrating the beginning of autumn, preparing for the Fall Festival, which will be on November 4 this year, and Dia de los Muertos. Our Monarch Gardens continue to serve as a way station for butterflies going to Mexico...

Blue Star Contemporary is delighted to share with our neighbors in King William the exciting news that we were recently awarded $87,522 from the Texas Commission on the Arts’ Cultural District Project grant program. This special initiative, separate from its programmatic grants, specifically supports the growth of cultural tourists to the state’s cultural districts. As an institution within the King William Cultural Arts District, Blue Star Contemporary was eligible to apply.

Last year, Blue Star’s board and staff convened to develop our 2015-2020 Strategic Plan, an ambitious guide that includes modernizing and making accessible our facilities and infrastructure, consistent branding as Blue Star Contemporary, and serving as a leader in San Antonio’s visual arts community with global recognition.

As you may have noticed, we are in the middle of capital renovations—

In September 2011 the Texas Commission on theArts voted for a Cultural Arts District to be established in King William under the auspices of the King William Association, one of 29 in the state. The purpose of Cultural Arts Districts is to help stimulate economic development and revitalize communities. According to the TCA, these districts “can become focal points for generating businesses, attracting tourists, stimulating development and fostering civic pride.”

Success factors for cultural districts include:

  • • Clear signage in place so visitors and the community can recognize boundaries.
  • • User-friendly website with comprehensive information about the CAD available for the community and visitors.
  • • Strong amenities such as restaurants, lodging, recreation that bolster the community.

The King William Cultural Arts District (KWCAD) extends from Al Rendon’s photography studio and Jenny Garcia’s glassmaking studio on S. Alamo down to SAY Si. It also goes to west City Street, encompassing Villa Finale and the Steves Homestead.

After the KWCAD was designated by the TCA, ...

I wasn’t aware what a spectacle Halloween was in the King William Historic District was until I moved in. The first Halloween I spent in my house I was visited by more than 600 goblins of every conceivable shape and size, and ranging in age from infants (in costume) to slightly inebriated adults, toward the end of what turned out to be a very long evening. In subsequent years...

If you subscribe to Nextdoor King William you are well aware of the attachment this neighborhood has with dogs. Dogs come in all sizes, shapes, and even colors. The various breeds of dogs were the direct result of human selection. Dogs became status symbols for royalty and prized by hunters and herders. There are about 340 recognized breeds of dogs today and an infinite variety of mixes.

Dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) have been part of our human history for at least 30,000-40,000 years, and possibly much longer, and were the first domesticated animals, before sheep, goats and cattle. Recent DNA studies show dogs are descended from the East Asia gray wolf, but the archaeological record is vague as to when and where that event happened in human history. Some scholars say domestication occurred in multiple areas of the Old World, in Eastern Eurasia and Western Eurasia.

Dogs accompanied the first Native American groups that entered the New World about 14,000 years ago, and spread throughout the North and South America following their human companions. Dogs contributed to human survival by

Amanda Neale Strickland

As a lifelong San Antonio resident, I was raised in Castle Hills, but my parents often took my brother and me to the Beethoven, the Guenther House and on strolls to admire the stately mansions of King William Street. My appreciation for the unique charms of King William led me to move here ten years ago after landing a job as an assistant D.A.

I hope that by being on the Board I can get to know the people in our wonderful community, and by doing so, learn what we can all do together to make it an even stronger and more vibrant place to live. If there are opportunities to make our neighborhood safer, I would like to work with the Board to explore how that can be achieved. I would also like to get more people interested in participating in volunteer activities that could benefit our neighborhood.

Erich Richard Landry

I visited King William and my grandparents’ home on Presa as a child. It was in the Yturri family for generations. We moved back to King William in 2014 with our daughter, and enjoy our friendly neighbors and the river in all seasons. It provides a beautiful backdrop for my photography business. I enjoyed serving on the homeowner’s association of my last neighborhood, and hope to contribute to preserving the unique character of King William. Trained in anthropology, my interests include travel, historical archaeology, urban gardening and photography.

Gretchen Garceau-Kragh

Gretchen and her husband John moved to King William in 2002. John was on active duty at Fort Sam at the time and when their 6 month wait for “post” housing turned into a 24 month wait, they decided to buy a home instead of living on Fort Sam. They were attracted to King William because of the uniqueness of the neighborhood, its diversity and walkability. This is Gretchen’s second time on the KW board and plans to work with other board members on issues such as safety, transportation and infrastructure.

Since the first year of the KWA Grants Program in 2000, a total of $709,874 has been granted to organizations in the King William Area of San Antonio. Project have included art, music and theatre programs, at-risk student initiatives, technology upgrades, meaningful capital improvements, health and safety corrective measures, and literacy projects.

Using the proceeds from the Fair and in keeping with our mission, $72,238 was awarded to 10 highly qualified organizations at the September General Membership Meeting. Each year in the spring we ask for grant applications, which are due in late June. The applicants face tough competition and a very comprehensive evaluation.

This year a team of seven evaluators worked separately measuring each submission against a standard set of criteria. Next, the results were validated, and then the results delivered in rank order to the KWA Board of Directors for their consideration and approval. 

Here are our 2016-17 recipients. Congratulations to all! 

Saturday, December 3,   11 am to 5 pm

Day of tour tickets may be purchased at 202 King William Street for $20

Pre-Sale Tickets may be purchased Online for $15 

 Tour includes: Oge House, Noble Inns-209 Washington; 

112 King William; SA Art League and Museum- 130 King William; 202 King William; 203 King William;

208 King William; and Villa Finale Museum and Gardens- 401 King William

 Tickets purchased online are “will call" and can be picked up on SE corner of King William Park day of tour. No Refunds.

 

 

September is only technically the beginning of fall in Texas, since rain and temperatures will not catch up with the calendar until much closer to Halloween than to Labor Day. From my back porch the newly mowed lawn looks more like a field of straw. I’d half expected to see the three figures from Millet’s painting “The Gleaners” picking their way across the tawny stubble looking for left-behind grain.