KWA Newsletter Articles

We see them so often in San Antonio that we may forget to notice them, or at least to note how extraordinary they are: intricate light fixtures of perforated metal, on the Riverwalk, in our stores and banks, in some of our finest homes. The delicate patterns that these fixtures project on our walls and walkways are part of the sensual world of our city, as natural to us as the flicker of luminarias or the shadows of papél picado. But they are the work of a few inspired men and women, living and working here in our neighborhood – part of a tradition that, fortunately, is set to persevere.

Read more: Shining On: Isaac Maxwell Metal

The Wulff House, built by German immigrant Anton Fredrich Wulff in 1869-1870, stands at the entrance of King William Street.  The three-story Italianate style house features random course ashlar limestone walls, a distinctive square tower and raised basement.  An interesting feature of the house is a bas-relief in the front gable with a sculpted bust of the Wulff’s daughter, Carolina, done by Wulff’s son, Harry.  The property originally included a boathouse and a bathhouse.  Flooding in 1921 resulted in a 1926 flood-control measure that re-routed the San Antonio River away from the rear of the property.

Read more: The Wulff House

It is 105 degrees as I write.  Summer is here.  HOT, HOT, HOT.  This will be an abbreviated article since it is too hot to do much in the garden other than to water to keep things alive. 

To save water, this is the time I discard many plants that I have enjoyed since spring but which are now too distressed from the heat to warrant keeping them.  These include begonias, impatiens, zinnias and other annuals.  You may want to do the same.

Read more: Out in the Garden: August 2016

Located on the western edge of our neighborhood, at the corner of W. Guenther and S. Flores Streets, is 1010 South Flores, a mixed-used development.  A variety of businesses are located on the first floor with apartments occupying the remaining two stories. 

The first business to move in was HerStory: Style Bar & Boutique in July 2014.  Owner and San Antonio native Kenyada Bell knew this was an “up and coming area” when she was scouting for a new location.  She describes her clothes as contemporary and trendy. 

Read more: New Neighborhood Businesses

The disappearance of plastic pails and shovels, rubber sandals and sunscreen from store shelves, and their replacement with pencils, notebooks, rulers and calculators signals the end of summer and the return to school for students and their teachers.

This year there may be different kinds of school supplies that have to be purchased elsewhere – ammunition.  Around the world it’s been an exceptionally violent summer, by any measure.  It’s becoming harder and harder to distinguish between active war zones and ordinary city streets.

When I meet my new graduate students, I will wonder if any of them will be carrying guns.  It is perfectly legal for them to do this, starting with the first day of August.  I hope that the people who wrote this legislation were ignorant of the meaning of the date – no one could be that cruel or that insensitive to have picked that day, above all others, for this law to take effect.

Read more: City Lights: August 2016

June 26, 2016 marked an important milestone for our friends at Blue Star Brewing Company, who celebrated their 20th Anniversary.  The day-long festivities began with a jazz brunch and continued with games, food, live music and, more importantly, 1996 beer prices!

Owned by San Antonio locals Joey and Maggie Villarreal, Blue Star was the first micro-brewery in San Antonio.  Joey’s love for beer and knowledge of biology got his passion for brewing up and running.

The brewery, along with Joe Blues, the Bike Shop and their newest addition, Provisions market, are now an indispensable part of our neighborhood. 
Congratulations to Joey and Maggie on this achievement.  Here’s to another 20 successful years!

- Josie Botello Garcia

KWA and LNA created a joint parking/transportation committee in October 2014 to secure a parking needs assessment.  Since that time, this volunteer committee has attempted to address a wide variety of transit-related issues.  In summary, the committee has:

  • Attended over two dozen meetings with city officials and stakeholders.
  • Surveyed current transit-related signage.
  • Conducted a traffic/parking survey for Lavaca and the same survey for King William.
  • Secured a city sponsored online survey regarding narrow streets.
  • Acquired two technical memos from the city’s consultant regarding current conditions.
  • Created “This Could Be A Ticket” push card for parking offenses.
  • Authored numerous newsletter articles and board reports.
  • Received additional safety striping at the Alamo/Probandt intersection.
  • Obtained removal of dangerous striping at the Alamo/Adams intersection.
  • Added “No Parking” signs near the Alamo St. crosswalk at the Friendly Spot.
Read more: Parking / Transportation Committee Report: August 2016

Roofless Solar has come to San Antonio and is now available to every CPS Energy customer in the area.  CPS Energy, the nation’s largest municipally owned utility, in partnership with Clean Energy Collective, is providing a greener way to buy power.  Community solar is ideal for all CPS customers, including renters, those with rooftops not suitable for rooftop solar and anyone who wants to harness the sun’s energy but doesn’t want to spend tens of thousands of dollars for an on-site system.

Read more: Roofless Solar Now Available

Steve Yndo and Betty YndoBetty Yndo is one of the first residents I met in King William back in 1997.  She was showing my husband, Richard, and me around, as we thought we might like to live here.  We did not buy a house from her, but she certainly sold us on the neighborhood.  She pointed out fabulous historic homes and told us about gathering spots such as La Tuna Ice House.  While not originally from San Antonio, Betty became an unofficial ambassador for King William, known and beloved by many in our historic section of downtown San Antonio.

Betty Gibson grew up on a farm in Stanton, Texas, where folk were welcomed by “3,000 friendly people and a few old soreheads.”  After attending the Baylor School of Nursing, she married Dr. Don Gaddis, and they had two sons, Paul and David, and a daughter, Pam.  Don died in 1972.

Betty first worked in real estate while living in Austin, where she loved working out of doors.  She and her sons built cedar kit houses, ordered from Seattle, in Alpine and in Austin.  Betty went on to convert a warehouse in Alpine into a seven-shop mini mall, taking advantage of a Small Business Administration loan for female entrepreneurs.

Read more: Betty Yndo and King William Realty - Celebrating 30 Years

We had another great July 4th Regatta in King William.  Started in 1983, the Regatta is organized by the near-mythical King William Yacht Club for the happy purpose of enjoying our neighbors and our neighborhood by cruising our portion of the San Antonio River.  A great crowd showed up this year, some to power-paddle in the canoe and kayak races, others to show off their stars-and-stripes style in our leisure class, and the rest of us for the thrill of spectating. 

Read more: KW Yacht Club: In a Regatta de Vida, Baby

On June 6, VIA launched a new branded service called VIVA.  The three lines that comprise the VIVA service include:

  • VIVA Culture – direct connections to Southtown, King William, Downtown, Pearl and Broadway
  • VIVA Missions – direct connections between the Alamo and the San Antonio Missions World Heritage Site
  • VIVA Centro – connections between Centro Plaza and St. Paul Square

VIVA replaces the blue trolley line. For more information visit viainfo.net/BusService/VivaMain.aspx.

The City of San Antonio has started a Sidewalk Cost Sharing Program.  Since the KWA is in a non-CDBG area, the city will pay for 50% of the cost to replace sidewalks.  The City’s program can be combined with the KWA’s Sidewalk Program.  The KWA will pay $25 per linear foot to help King William residents to repair their sidewalks.

Read more: Sidewalk Repair Programs Available to KW Residents

Historic homes, because of their age and condition, offer considerable potential for energy retrofits that can reduce their energy use and utility costs as well as improve living conditions for their owners.  However, few reliable studies are available to inform the owners of historic homes in hot and humid regions as to appropriate retrofits for their homes, and none offer any prioritization of these potential retrofits.  Such guidance is needed both to ensure that the retrofits are appropriate for older homes and, more importantly, that they meet the requirements typically placed on these historic homes and do not impact their cultural value. 

Read more: Energy Retrofits for Historic Homes

It’s a wrap, folks!  On May 26, we gathered up some of the 2016 King William Fair troops to Beethoven Maennerchor Halle und Garten and celebrated with those who dedicated their valuable time and incredible talents to make this the best Fair we have had to date! 
Although the Fair had close to 1,000 volunteers, there were some exceptional people we wanted to reward for their commitment, experience and positive performances.  We also wanted them to know that our community appreciates their efforts to preserve and enhance the King William Historic District.  Neighboring businesses and those beyond our boundaries donated their services and products to recognize these amazing individuals.

Read more: King William Fair 2016 Wrap-Up

Congratulations to the outstanding artists who won this year’s Art and Craft awards!  We had a wonderful group of talented artists, and it was challenging to make these selections.  Thanks to all who participated in the 2016 King William Fair, and to Nancy and Chris Price who served as our volunteer Art and Craft Managers!

Best Fiesta Spirit: Emmanuel SA Artist, Martin Rangel

Martin Rangel was born in San Antonio and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of the Incarnate Word.  Rangel is fascinated by iconic people and symbols of different generations throughout the past and present and how they evoke different meanings in different people.  Images contained in his works include Mission San José, a bottle of Mexican Coke, the Virgin of Guadalupe, Bruce Lee, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, just to name a few.  Abstraction and representation, cultural and educational experiences, and his own personal foundations all blend in his mind, allowing Rangel to create works of art that bring an emotion or memory to viewers.  To view his artwork, visit emmanuelsa.com.  

Read more: King William Fair 2016 Art & Craft Awards

Hope, Help, Independence

Visual impairment is an ever-increasing health issue and the leading reason for loss of independent living among older Americans.  Where can they turn for non-medical help?  What can they do to maintain independence?  How can they stay connected with the community?  The Low Vision Resource Center (LVRC), which just celebrated its 19th anniversary, can help.  The LVRC offers two major programs for visually impaired people in the San Antonio area: the San Antonio Low Vision Club and Owl Radio.

Read more: Beyond Vision Loss

Subcategories

Monthly column from KWA president.

Tips and resources for historic home and building preservation.

Learn the history of some of the neighborhood's historic structures.

General history and anecdotes about the King William Area.