The house at 322 Washington Street has gone through several reincarnations over the years. It began its life in 1901 on the near north side at the southwest corner of East Elmira and Lexington Streets. It was a two- story gabled, yellow brick Victorian with leaded and beveled glass front door and side lights. Inside were several fireplaces and fine carved woodwork, beautiful French parquet floors and heavy pocket doors.
Various families lived in the house over the years, among them, Ferdinand Herff, Jr. and his wife Zulema, who bought the house in 1914 for $18,000 and lived there until the late 1920s. Ferdinand Herff, Jr., son of the more renowned Dr. Ferdinand Herff, Sr., was president and chairman of the board of the San Antonio Bank. By the late 1940s, it was rented to Worthy Wolff who turned the downstairs into a restaurant with a nightclub upstairs.
In 1951, the site was being cleared for construction of the Pan Am Expressway. The house was saved from the wrecking ball when it was stripped of its brick and moved in four sections to its present location, a lot on Washington Street which had been part of the Carl Groos estate. When reassembled, the house was given a Spanish or Mediterranean character – stuccoed outside with arches and tiled porches. From the 1950s to the early 2000s, the house was owned and occupied by members of the Ramirez family. You can see from the current photo that the house has gone through a total make-over since then.
-- Bill Cogburn