In 1987, the King William neighborhood was invaded by Hollywood when a short segment of the movie Nadine was being filmed in the 300 block of Madison Street. At first, the neighbors thought it was exciting to have the film crew working in the neighborhood, but after a few days of noisy generators humming away all night and bright flood lights late into the evening, the glamour quickly wore off.
The Jeff Bridges and Kim Bassinger characters in the movie were being pursued by thugs who chased them from South Alamo Street, up Beauregard then around the corner into the vacant house at 310 Madison. After the couple raced upstairs they found themselves trapped, but an old ladder was conveniently handy. They shoved the ladder through a window and all the way across to the window of the house next door, another vacant, derelict mansion at 314 Madison. After several heart-stopping moments of slipping and crawling across the rickety ladder, the two miraculously escaped. You’ll have to find the movie to see what happens next.
About two years later, in the evening of March 29, 1989, a 4-alarm fire raged through these two vacant houses as well as a dilapidated structure next door at 318 Madison. The 1894 Fry House at 310 and the 1892 Maurer House at 314 were completely consumed, but by early the next morning, the fire was finally extinguished. Within a matter of days, the lots were cleared of debris.
The first two lots sat vacant for almost twenty years when 310 Madison was purchased by Mickey and Cyndee Conrad in 2007. They graciously allowed the King William Fair to use the lot for storing equipment and staging Pat’s Pub until they built their house in 2009. Mickey, an architect, designed their house, which he calls an urban farmhouse. It includes many environmentally friendly features such as a cistern for capturing rainwater.
- Bill Cogburn
Source: The King William Area, A History & Guide to the Houses, Mary Burkholder; San Antonio Express-News; 1980s photo from KWA archives; movie Nadine; 1970s photo of 310 Madison courtesy Graham Knight; current photo of 310 Madison, Scott Cogburn; remaining from KWA archives.