KWA Newsletter Articles

n addition to being the primary fundraising event for the King William Association, the King William Fair provides a large umbrella that benefits other local nonprofit organizations of various sizes and purposes. Again this year, the Fair will also support two unique international groups with local ties: Friendship Bridge and Rancheritas Rug Hook Project.

Among the local nonprofits that earn funds from their participation at the Fair are our neighbors at St. Joseph’s and Texas Masonic Lodge No. 8, in addition to the Mission Trail Rotary Club that runs our special Kids Kingdom in Upper Mill Park.  There are also a number of nonprofits, including the Edgewood Lions Club, Knights of Columbus, Church of Reconciliation and Celebration Circle, that bring their delicious treats to the Fair as food vendors. 

Read more: Nonprofit Organizations at the Fair

Time to throw out the lingering pile of Christmas gift catalogs that have flooded the mailbox and formed a seismically challenged tower on the end of the kitchen counter.

Among the oddities ranging from Star Wars everything to portable wine chillers (home or office!), the most conspicuous item was a mistletoe drone.  A tiny quadcopter with a dangling sprig of romance-inducing parasite.  The catalog offered the happy opportunity to buy them by the half dozen to spark up that magic moment at midnight on New Year’s Eve.  Imagine a squadron hovering in perfect, steady, semi-silent formation above your tipsy guests.

Read more: City Lights: February 2016

Each year I select a theme for my newsletter articles.  In 2015 the theme was volunteers. This year I have chosen “Sustainability” because of: HDRC cases regarding xeriscape and solar panels; zoning cases and surrounding infill development projects which affect parking availability; and finally historic preservation.  

 “Conceptually, sustainable development emerged as a result of significant concerns about the unintended social, environmental, and economic consequences of rapid population growth, economic growth, and consumption of natural resources.”* One factor which has influenced the topic of sustainability is the built environment which in turn has created the Green Building Council, LEED certification, Energy STAR ratings, plus products such as solar panels, water saving toilets, respectively meant to reduce carbon emissions and, reduce water usage.

Read more: 2016 - Year of Sustainability

KWA Executive Director Cherise Bell and I constantly monitor the concerns posted by the King William neighbors on social media.  We generally do not respond to these postings unless something critical needs to be corrected or conveyed.  When a posting is made regarding a specific entity such as the city or VIA, we contact that public entity to address the specific concern.  

The Parking and Transportation Committee has met on several occasions with the City staff (Lori Houston, Jim Mery, Terry Bellamy and others) as previously reported in the Newsletter.  A direct outgrowth of these meetings was a parking and traffic study conducted by an independent contractor, paid for by the City.  Jim Mery and his staff and the contractor met with Parking and Transportation Committee representatives, Cherise and me last November to discuss some preliminary findings. The committee will review the full report later this month.  

Read more: President's Column: February 2016

107 King William—Wulff House 

131 King William—King William Neighborhood 

207 King William—Sartor House 

308 King William– Giles House 

335 King William—Groos House 

401 King William—Norton Polk Mathis house  aka Villia Finale Museum 

434 King William—Nix House 

509 King William—Steves Homestead and  Museum 

338 Madison—Berman House 

403 Madison—Chabot House 

155 Crofton—Brooks House 

Read more: KW Area TX Historical Markers Map

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) has recognized the King William Neighborhood, the Gustav Blersch House (213 Washington St.) and the Alfred Giles House (308 King William St.) as a significant part of Texas history by bestowing each with an Official Texas Historical Marker.  

The dedication ceremony was held November 21 at King William Park.  Attendees included Mayor Ivy Taylor, THC representative Chris Florance, Bexar County Historical Commission Chair Virginia Nicholas, COSA Deputy Historic Preservation Officer Kathy Rodriguez and many neighbors and visitors.  

“The Official Texas Historical Marker program helps bring attention to community treasures and the importance of their preservation,” said Chris Florance, THC Director of Public Information. “Awareness and education are among the best ways to guarantee the preservation of our state’s history.  This designation is a tool that will increase public awareness of important cultural resources.”  Texas has the largest marker program in the United States with approximately 15,000 markers.  

- Nora Peterson

Read more: New Texas Historical Markers Dedicated

Many of us in King William appreciate and enjoy the amenities that are made available to the residents for free.  There are a number of events that take place in and around our neighborhood that add to the quality of life.  Even if you are not a member of the King William Association, you can sign up to receive the weekly e-blast that announces neighborhood events and visit the King William Cultural Arts District website.  

During this past year the Cultural Arts Committee has provided lectures and concerts.  The lectures by COSA archaeologist Kay Hindes and Cherise Bell were especially enlightening and informative.  Kay reported on major prehistoric and historic archaeological finds in San Antonio including the first location of the Alamo mission (it was moved twice).  Cherise’s talk was on local modern architecture. 

Read more: President's Column: December 2015

When I was hired to help organize the King William Fair in February 2008, Rose Kanusky was serving as the Fair Chair for the third year in a row.  She worked very hard in that capacity, and had come to see that the small, informal gathering that began as a low-key party among neighbors in 1968 had grown to become a large, highly-complex festival that could no longer be run by volunteers alone.  She and the King William Association Board of Directors had the vision to see that along with the growing popularity of the Fair had come such pressing issues as crowd safety, liability, environmental issues, technology and new city policies, all of which required professional organizational support, if the fair was to continue to thrive.

Since then, I’ve been blessed to have wonderful staff support from Cherise Bell, Monika Perez-Moad, Susan Rothman, Carol Jackson and Syeira Budd.  Together, we’ve worked hard to maintain the unique character and neighborhood charm of the Fair, while also instituting the policies and procedures envisioned by Rose to foster the growth, safety and success of the KWA’s primary fundraiser. 

Read more: 2015: Year of the Volunteer – The Grand Finale

Robert Tatum (aka Tatum) was selected by 2016 Fair Chair Brad Shaw to design the next Fair logo.  Tatum chose to combine a variety of design elements representing the flavor of Fiesta, our King William Fair and neighborhood: George the duck, our San Antonio River, a classic Ionic column, the silly Fiesta hat, a sparkling of glitter and, of course, music! 

Tatum was born in Inglewood, South Central Los Angeles, in 1963.  After studying design and marketing at Pasadena College of Art and Design, he worked at multiple ad agencies in Los Angeles, including Doyle Dane Bernbach, Dancer Fitzgerald Sample, HRLA (Disney), and other graphic design firms. 

Since moving to San Antonio in 1992, Tatum has painted full time and freelanced as a creative director.  He currently runs Tatum Originals Choice Goods at 108 B Blue Star, paints murals and schleps art.

- Zet Baer, Fair Manager

Read more: 2016 King William Fair Artwork Revealed!

I like SAY Sí because when I walk in the door, I feel normal.”  “No one judges me at SAY Sí.”  I like being able to express myself using different mediums in art.”  “It’s so much fun, and I have made lasting friendships there.”  “I like the technical training.”  

These were quotes resonating from my morning carpool with my daughter, Laura, a 10th grader at the North East School of the Arts, and her classmate and neighborhood friend, Bygoe Zubiate, a 10th grader at the International School of the Americas.  Both girls have attended the SAY Sí art program since middle school and both girls are excited to continue their art training in the program.  They liken the program to their sport of choice.  And, just like any extracurricular, their dedication to the arts through SAY Sí is evident in their schedules.  As part of the curriculum, students must log at least eight hours per week, generally completed after school and on Saturdays.  It’s a demanding schedule on top of school work and other commitments, but talk to any SAY Sí student, and the first thing they will tell you is that, if they could, they would spend even more time there. 

Read more: Why We Like SAY Sí

There is a very informative website about native and adaptive plants for South Texas.  Plants are listed alphabetically with pictures and growing characteristics.  Go to, then click on Watershed Plant Guide.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I have.  

With over five inches of rain over the last weeks of October and into November, flowerbeds and lawns have not needed much supplemental watering.  If you have an automatic sprinkler system it would be prudent to set it on manual to conserve water.  

Read more: Out in the Garden: December 2015

The little piece of land adjacent to the Conservation Society known as Pedro Huizar Park is about to get a makeover.  First, VIA is planning to relocate one of the “tri-party”/”pagoda”-style bus shelters from downtown to the park located at the corner of King William and S. St. Mary’s Streets.  It will be complete with lighting and a brick paver pad matching that of the Conservation Society’s driveway.  This will be a big improvement over what is currently there, providing some shelter for bus riders.  

Read more: Pedro Huizar Park and Bus Stop Update

My mother was a Francophile.  She attended a convent school run by French nuns and she was always very fluent in the language, even writing in French to friends.  She made certain that our childhood included trips to Paris.  That was all about walking endlessly, street food, elegant food, blue collar dining, and the edifying march past the great art works of the world in kilometers of museum galleries. 

Just now I’m sitting at her little provincial writing desk looking through the rain drops on the window, or are they tears?

Read more: City Lights: December 2015

The H-E-B South Flores Market officially opened to the public on December 2.  Located at the corner of Cesar Chavez Boulevard and S. Flores Street, the 12,000-square-foot market is within walking distance of the River Walk and King William.  

“At the H-E-B South Flores Market, our customers can grab lunch on the go, shop for everyday essentials and pantry staples, enjoy a relaxing meal on the patio and even fuel up their vehicle,” said Nick George, Store Director.

Read more: H-E-B Opens South Flores Market

On the morning of Saturday, October 3, the Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) and over 30 volunteers from the University of Texas at San Antonio’s College of Architecture and San Antonio College descended on the King William Historic District armed with paint brushes, power tools, smiles and a mission: to help make five homes shine a little brighter and to bring joy (and a few tears of happiness) to home owners.  This project kicked off the OHP’s semi-annual Students Together Achieving Revitalization (S.T.A.R.) program. 

Read more: Homes Revived With STAR


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.