KWA Newsletter Articles

A 1993 letter from Arthur Goldschmidt to the King William Association gives us a glimpse of life in our neighborhood in the 1920s.  Arthur was born in 1910 at 315 Adams Street, known today as the LaCroix/Goldschmidt House.  His parents, Herman and Gretchen Goldschmidt, purchased the house in 1904 for $5,150.  Born to German parents in Monterrey, Mexico in 1868, Herman owned and operated Goldschmidt & Co., a San Antonio merchandise broker.  His wife Gretchen was a teacher in the San Antonio public schools and an active member of the King William Area Conservation Society, forerunner of the King William Association.  The Adams street house was home to the Goldschmidt family for 60 years.  

Read more: A Former Neighbor Remembers King William in the 1920s

October was archaeology month in Texas and we sponsored several events to promote awareness of our long cultural history in San Antonio.  The first event was an art opening of the many paintings of our San Antonio missions owned by William Mealy of Lavaca.  This is a spectacular exhibit, and if you have not had the opportunity to see it, there is still time.  The show closes at the end of November.  

Read more: President's Report: November 2015

To me, roses are in a special class to themselves, and that is why they were not included in the list of preferred plants in last month’s article.  There are three old roses that are especially good for the home garden.  Once established, they grow with little care and repeat blooms from spring through fall.  They can be planted now and, like all roses, they need plenty of sun.  

Read more: Out in the Garden: November 2015

I came home Saturday evening, just at dusk, after having walked downtown to run errands.  I ambled up the driveway to the back door fumbling for keys with one hand; the other holding the afternoon’s spoils from my consumer expedition.  Out of the corner of my eye I noticed something odd, a dark shadow between the leaves of the doors of my tool shed.  The shadow was a gap, the doors were open and the compartment inside was empty.  No more bicycle, bicycle pump, or helmet.

Read more: City Lights: November 2015

Living in an historic district comes with responsibilities.  Any changes to the exterior of a property must have a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) from the Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) or the Historic and Design Review Commission (HDRC).  This does not take the place of required permits, but allows one to proceed towards the permitting process.  Work done without a COA is subject to a $500 application fee and a Stop-Work order may be issued. 

Read more: Architectural Advisory Committee – Here to Help

KWA wins its fourth Centro BEST award.  Since 2012, KWA has won an award every year from Centro’s BEST award.  This year KWA submitted a nomination to Centro BEST in the category of BEST Downtown Neighborhood. 

BEST Wild Card category was won by Alamo Beer Company which is owned and operated by neighbor and KWA member Eugene Simor.  Alamo Beer Company made their debut at the KW Fair in 2015 and will be back in 2016.  Congratulations! 

- Cherise Bell

I am a walker.  I walk every day in the neighborhood and on the river walk.  I admit I am not a dog owner, having been bit by a dog when I was 18 years old I have a respect and yes, fear of dogs.  I like dogs, but I stand clear of striking distance.  With all the new apartments there are more people walking.  More people means more dog walking also.  I like the interaction of greeting people and their dogs when I walk.  

Having your dogs on a leash is the law.  Picking up poop after your dog is also the law.  To all my neighbors I ask for your courtesy, please leash your dog and clean up after your dog.  On Labor Day I witnessed a dog attack another dog.  Both dogs were leashed but for whatever reason, the one dog attacked.  This event was traumatizing for all involved including the mom and son whose dog initiated the attack.  They were stunned. 

Read more: Dog Days of Summer

The Graffiti Abatement Program (GAP) is working on some new initiatives.  Would you like to get active in our program?

Reporting Graffiti is easy!

Any writing, etching or scrawling without permission, is considered graffiti and is illegal.  Getting it cleaned up is key to preventing more!  Report graffiti on City owned or private property via phone to 311, online at sanantonio.gov, or download the 311 app.  If you spot vulgar graffiti, please report this as soon as possible.  Cusswords, lewd drawings, etc., will be removed promptly.  If graffiti is on non-City owned property, such as bus stops, utility poles, highway signs, etc., you will need to contact that agency directly, or you can call our hotline at 207-BUFF (2833).

If you see someone committing the crime of graffiti vandalism, report it immediately to 207-SAPD (7273), with a detailed description of the offender. 

Volunteer Workshop

Learn the history of the graffiti program and how to properly report and remove unsightly graffiti in your neighborhood using free supplies provided at the workshop. Held the last Thursday and Saturday mornings of each month.  For more information contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 207-5430. 

 - Lisa McKenzie, Neighborhood Services Coordinator/Graffiti Development Services Department, City of San Antonio

Volunteers needed!

Volunteers needed for King William area – we need help removing graffiti and stickers.  Adopt a block!  Contact the KWA office at 210-227-8786 or info@ ourkwa.org.

 

The San Pedro Acequia, also known as the Principal Acequia, was first constructed in 1719. Commonly known as a ditch, the acequia was likely the first of its kind constructed in San Antonio.  Acequias were primarily irrigation ditches and, as time progressed, were later used for drinking water and as storm drains. The San Pedro Acequia ran from the waters of present-day San Pedro Springs Park to the San Antonio River, just south of the Blue Star National Register Historic District.  

Read more: Archeology in King William

As promised in the last newsletter edition, the following plants are suggested for those who do not have the time or inclination to spend much time outdoors.  The list includes adapted (not native) evergreens that will give a year-round permanent appearance to a garden, and perennials that add color a good part of the growing season.  All need little water once established.  Always consider the mature size of a plant to prevent overcrowding.

Read more: Out in the Garden: October 2015

I have been scraping white fuzz found on some of the cactus along E. Guenther Street to collect female cochineal bugs used in dyeing wool. This dyed wool is then used at Mission Espada to demonstrate weaving. It has been a fun and informative experience to take a bug and convert it to a dye bath that results in beautiful pinks, reds, purples and lavenders.

We are lucky to have so much information about ancient processes readily available through our library and the Internet. The two principal resources that I have used are A Dyer’s Manual, by Jill Goodwin (Pelham Books, London, 1982) and Cochineal: A Bright Red Animal Dye, by LaVerne M. Dutton (1992 Master of Science Thesis, Environmental Archeology, Baylor University). If you have a cactus that is covered with white fuzz, let me know. I may want to collect some more bugs. I will be glad to share the detailed process how to collect and prepare the bugs for dyeing.

Read more: Collecting Cochineal

Our consulting firm, Abasolo Archaeological Consultants, conducted an archaeological survey of the Madla Natural Area property in Grey Forest in 2011 and recorded a small board and batten historic structure that dates to the 19th century. Researching this structure and property led us back to King William.

The first settlement of the area, part of which is today the Madla Natural Area property near Helotes, was by John Conrad Beckmann (1815-1907). A German immigrant, Beckmann was a blacksmith and wrought-iron craftsman at the time that he and his wife (Regina Mueller) moved to San Antonio, with their first child, Heinrich. Their youngest child, Albert, became a well known architect and built the house at 222 E. Guenther St. The Beckmann Ranch was formed in 1852, when it was purchased from early San Antonio developers Thomas Devine and F. Giraud.

Read more: Beckmann Ranch and the Merry Knights of King William

In August, at the request of the City, the joint KWA/LNA parking and transit committee presented its concerns to the City staff, City consultant, area developers and a few others interested in urban traffic issues. Jim Mery, deputy direc-tor of the Center CityDevelopment Office, is coninuing to refine our requested scope of work for a parking/transportation study, and we hope to receive a definitive answer from him within the month. We also received favorable coverage of our transit issues in “Local Community News.” 

- Rose Kanusky

Many of my friends know that in my vanished youth I worked as the architect for archaeological excavations in southern Italy and Turkey. The Turkish job offer was a bolt out of the blue from Harvard’s Fogg Museum. For a century the museum has supported work at Sardis, about 95 kilometers inland from the Aegean coast. 

Prior to my departure I received a package containing various supplies with instructions to include them in my baggage. The one package that concerned me was a kilo bag of crystallized restoration glue. it looked exactly like a bag of crack cocaine. 

Read more: City Lights: October 2015

VIA Metropolitan Transit enjoys working with the King William Association to provide efficient and safe public transportation services to the King William District. It is one of many close relationships we maintain with various public and private organizations to provide top quality services as we work hard to serve our 13-city service region.

With this relationship in mind, we’d like to address some of the concerns the article “The Little Street That Couldn’t” highlighted in the July 2015 edition of the KWA Newsletter. The article stated that VIA relocated Route 46/Commercial onto W. Sheridan St. without informing the City of San Antonio, and it implied that the route could be moved again in the near future. We felt it important to let your readers know this is not the case.

Read more: Route 46 Bus Service

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.