KWA Newsletter Articles

The KWA Architectural Advisory Committee (AAC) is comprised of association residents – including licensed architects – who volunteer their time to evaluate cases that are presented to the City of San Antonio Historic and Design Review Commission (HDRC), for discussion and recommendation. Any property owner who desires to make changes to the exterior of their property, or to their site (front, side or back yard), must make application to the HDRC. This application process is handled through the City’s Office of Historic Preservation (OHP). Once the OHP staff reviews the case (project request), they make a staff recommendation, and then forward the King William neighborhood cases (and others that have an impact on the neighborhood) to the AAC, so that our neighborhood can weigh in and provide commentary to the HDRC as part of the public input process.

Although most of the cases that are reviewed include additions, renovations, requests to change out windows (which are not often approved), fence installations, landscaping and site improvements (walkways, driveways, etc.), new roofing, and material replacements, more recently, there have been many cases that include requests to install solar panels, understandably due to the CPS rebates that are being offered. As the KWA committee that is...

Read more: Solar Panel Installations in the King William Historic District: Not all structures are good...

Blue Star Contemporary is thrilled to celebrate our Grand Re-Opening Weekend with our neighbors in King William. We invite you to join in the party and visit our newly-renovated space on November 4 during extended First Friday hours. On Saturday, we’ll host family-friendly activities during the day. We’ll also have a 30-year timeline of Blue Star Contemporary’s history, and we invite our KW neighbors to contribute.

These events are free and open to the public, but those who purchase our VIP All-Access Passes or Sponsorships receive additional perks, including a private tour of the building and our four new exhibitions on Saturday night, free valet parking, and a dance party in a secret spot in the Complex (plus delicious eats and drinks). Details are available on www.bluestarart.org, by calling 227-6960 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The renovations wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the King William Association. We are most thankful for your ongoing investment in our mission to inspire, nurture and innovate through contemporary art, and we look forward to continuing our KWA Members Tours. - Elaine Leahy Development Manager Blue Star Contemporary

Cool fall weather seems to be settling in. Now is the time to plant winter annuals that will bloom until January and again in March and April. These cool natured plants include snapdragons, stocks, dianthus, and calendulas. Snapdragons, depending on type, grow to various heights up to three feet. Stocks are fragrant, usually white or blue, and grow to 18 inches. Dianthus are red, white pink, and lavender, do not grow tall but do well in hanging baskets. Calendulas have yellow or gold blooms on one and a half foot stems.

With the cool weather, now is the time to put about 1/4 inch compost on lawns and in flower beds. If you have not yet done so you can still put out a good organic fertilizer. The combination puts needed nutrients in the soil.

It is not necessary to water lawns as often as we go into fall and winter. About every three weeks should be enough. Put automatic sprinkler systems on the manual setting and use only as needed. Remember, your sewer charge for next year is based on your water usage from November to March.

Tired of cutting and trimming a lawn or want to make changes in your garden so it is not so labor intensive? Consider putting in a xeric landscape using drought tolerant plants. A good example can be seen at 112 Mission St. Take a look.

From Wisdom of Mark Twain: A Book of Quotations:“To promise not to do a thing is the surest way in the world to make a body want to go and do that very thing.”

Garden Note: A beautiful garden is a work of love. -Alan Cash

You still have a chance to view Toro’s delightful “Westi Lost in the Park” series of colorful paintings at the offices of King William Association. Toro is a local artist and native Texan with a studio at Lonestar Art Space. After attending the San Antonio Art Institute in the 1990s, he was encouraged by his mentor, Linda Pace, to travel abroad. Toro studied in the Netherlands and traveled to Jerusalem.

Once home and working on his paintings, Toro began to experiment with homemade pigments. He was searching for a certain quality with an aluminum effect. His frustration in finding what he was searching for led him to mix different organic and inorganic items into paints. He started by cutting up aluminum cans with pliers. The pieces were not fine enough and this led him to using a coffee grinder to make a finer grade. Once he learned how to make his own paint, he found a mill in Houston to make his required ingredient.

Toro continued to experiment with adding flower petals, seeds, crushed chipotle peppers and bee pollen to his pigments. He finally achieved the qualities that he was looking for. These paints are used with great effect in his paintings. Plan to stop by during office hours to see his colorful expressions before the exhibit ends. - Nora Peterson

Fall Highlights-Parents, students and teachers shared an evening of discussion about curriculum and instruction during our Open House events in September (K-2) and October (3rd – 8th). Information for the Gifted and Talented Program was presented and the School, Parent and Student Compacts were shared. It takes a community to support every child.

WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) Over 60 fathers attended the first event to form the Bonham Academy chapter of the Watch D.O.G.S. Program on October 13.

Fathers, grandfathers, uncles and other father-figures volunteer at least one full day during the school year at an official WATCH D.O.G.S. school. These men work right alongside the educators, play at recess, eat lunch with students, watch the school entrances and hallways, assist with traffic flow and any other assigned activities where they actively engage with students.

The two primary goals of the program are to provide positive male role models for the students, demonstrating by their presence that education is important, and to provide extra sets of eyes and ears to enhance school security and reduce bullying.

Fall Festival Bonham Academy will once again host its annual Fall Festival on November 4. We anticipate...

Read more: Garden St. School News: November 2016

A beloved neighborhood leader has been called away to serve a permanent mission.

James R. Johnson, Sr., LTC, U.S. Army (ret), who received the Silver Star for gallantry in action while serving in Vietnam and served his King William neighborhood with an equal amount of vigor, passed away on September 21, 2016. His health had declined over the past months, but he lived a full life of adventure and merriment for many of his 85 years.

“The Colonel,” as he was known to many of his neighbors, was a tireless advocate who sought to “do his part” in bettering the San Antonio community. In the late 1990s, he provided great leadership when he served as the King William Association president. During 2001- 2007, Jim represented District 1 on the board of the San Antonio River Authority, where he served to make sure there would be dedicated funding to support the Mission Reach project.

Jim had a real passion for life and companionship, whether with friends, one of his dogs, a tennis partner or foe, or a personal love. Although he sometimes hid behind a rigid demeanor, the tenderness in his eyes usually gave him away. He was an old soul who celebrated the nostalgia of baseball, the military and rustic travel, but had the spirit and heart of a young trooper who approached every mission with purpose, leadership, a vision and the ability to...

Read more: Colonel Johnson to Lead a “Higher Calling” Neighborhood

King William has only one church building that has continually functioned as a church. At the corner of Eagleland and St. Mary’s, the familiar white stucco, tile-roofed structure was built as Westminster Presbyterian, but became San Antonio Mennonite in the 1980s. The very first Mennonites were Christian followers of Menno Simons in sixteenth century Europe who broke away from the state-sponsored Protestant church over their belief in adult baptism. Today, the Mennonite Church has two million members all over the world, and is known for a focus on nonviolence, community and service to others.

The past year has seen a few changes at SAMC. Our pastor of 11 years, Rachel Epp Miller, stepped down, and for a full year the church managed all its functions through unpaid lay leadership. John Garland was named the new pastor in May. John has many connections to the Southtown community: he lives in Lavaca, his children attend Bonham Elementary School, and he sells his backyard-grown, organic micro-greens to local residents. An avid runner, you might see him training around the neighborhood. His family also rides bikes and canoes on the King William portion of the Mission Reach River Walk.

In the spring, San Antonio Mennonite Church went through...

Read more: San Antonio Mennonite Church News Building Rehabilitation Planned

At last, that lonely Mission Road Power Plant will soon undergo a big change. The historic plant at Mission Road and Highland Boulevard will be transformed into a world-class center that will serve as a cradle for invention and a catalyst for clean energy innovation and technological advancement.

“EPI” stands for “Energy, Partnerships and Innovation.” The $74 million center will be unique in the country in terms of combining a think tank, incubation/start-up space (similar to Geekdom), fabrication laboratory, museum and conference center focusing on new energy innovation - all in one place. Its estimated opening is in 2020.

EPIcenter will:

Showcase a range of clean, new energy technologies through facility installations and changing exhibitions;

Inspire new development by co-locating advancing companies from all other the world with members of the clean energy and technical community at a single facility to spur collaboration and creativity;

Educate professionals, students and local, state, national and...

Read more: FLIP THE SWITCH! Historic Mission Road Power Plant to become EPIcenter

The International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) paid tribute to the King William Fair on September 27 during the annual Pinnacle Awards Ceremony held at IFEA’s 61st Annual Convention, where it received the Bronze Award for Best Pin/Medal in the prestigious IFEA/ Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards competition . King William Fair Manager, Zet Baer, CFEE, was on hand to receive it. Awards were made in 68 different categories.

The 2016 King William Fair pin/medal was designed by San Antonio artist and Blue Star Complex business owner, Robert Tatum. Clearly, judges were impressed by the playful nature of the design with a celebratory “George the Duck” playing guitar in a tasseled cowboy hat with a traditional ionic column, all surrounded in colorful glitter.

The professional competition draws entries from among the world’s top festivals and events. Winning entries came from organizations as diverse as the St. Louis Art Fair, St. Louis, MO; the International Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington, D.C.; the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, Pasadena, CA; the Sausalito Art Festival, Sausalito, CA; and Celebrations Ottawa in Ottawa, ON, Canada.

The IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Competition recognizes the outstanding accomplishments and...

Read more: King William Fair Awarded Pinnacle Bronze Award

The Alamo Hot Club Band

Bringing the Sounds of Gypsy Jazz to King William Park Saturday, November 12

5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Mark your calendars now for another free concert at King William Park. As part of Southtown The Arts District (STAD) Second Saturday events, KWA is sponsoring a concert featuring The Alamo Hot Club Band. They play acoustic jazz in the style of 1930’s jazz giants such as Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli and the Hot Club of France. Bring the whole family, neighbors, chairs or a blanket, libations and snacks.

Something like fall has finally arrived on our neighborhood streets. The trees are debating whether they agree with this fact and are undecided about dropping their leaves. My fig tree and the pecans have already carpeted the lawn and terrace with their summer clothing, the red oaks are still waiting for their cue on the arboreal striptease stage.

With the shade diminishing the unfiltered, dramatic, raking light of fall becomes more evident. The lower angle of the sun seems to create sharper contrast between light and shadow, crisper, more defined edges in the chiaroscuro scene that’s framed by bare branches.

The effect of the descending sun is dramatic in the dining room, radiating below the half drawn shades and making the lace curtains blaze with the fire-light of sunset. These windows are my observatory where I chart the arc of Phaeton through the seasons.

On the porches the setting sun probes the soffits, illuminating what was all in shade for the summer, as if a spotlight was being deliberately aimed upward.

The summer’s shield of giant bamboo and trees to the west is losing its welcome function as the sun moves to the south, blinding a sunset watcher’s gaze on the back porch...

Read more: City Lights: November 2016

SAY Sí will present its 10th annual Muertitos Fest, a three-day Día de los Muertos festival that celebrates the tradition that ties our city to Mexico and commemorates the rich Mexican-American culture of San Antonio, on November 3 – 5. With this year’s theme, “Fronteras de la Tierra y Cielos (Borders of the Earth & Heavens),” artwork, installations, altars and performances will focus on the connections between the living and those who have passed.

Muertitos Fest, one of San Antonio’s most comprehensive Día de los Muertos celebrations, provides an educational context to this important holiday, with three days of unique cultural happenings including: an exhibition of student Día de los Muertos art, notable folk art exhibits, altars to honor...

Read more: Say Si's 10th Annual Muertitos Fest

The KWA Cultural Arts Committee is working on a walking tour brochure for the “Arsenal” side of our neighborhood association. Deed and consensus research conducted by intern Michael Carroll revealed this area’s original settlers were ethnically diverse:

  • • 210 Arsenal - Russian Jews Michael and Freda Dubinski Milgrom immigrated to the United States in 1880.
  • • 119 Daniel - Irish immigrants Patrick and Anastatia “Statia” Donoghue purchased their lot in 1901.
  • • 115 Rische - James Montanio was born in Italy in 1888. He immigrated with his parents at the age of eight, their ship docking at the port of New Orleans.
  • • 920 S. Main - Eugenio Ruiz and his wife and fellow Mexican immigrant Carlota built their house here after Carlota purchased the lot in 1910.
  • • 216 W. Johnson - Frenchborn Jean and Alexine Loustaunau immigrated to the United States in 1867. Jean co-founded La Maison Blanche, a French restaurant on Market Street.

- Cherise Bell

I was sitting on my front porch swing one afternoon enjoying the mild weather and admiring the wellmaintained homes up and down my block. It dawned on me how much has changed since I moved to King William in 1979 and how many new neighbors have taken residence in just the past few years and who may not be aware of its history.

So, I am starting this occasional series, calling it “Old News, ” mainly using past issues of the KWA newsletter for inspiration. I hope it will be enjoyed by our newer neighbors and that it will bring back some memories to those of you who were early arrivals when you were asked, “Aren’t you afraid to live downtown?!”

My first bit of Old News started in the fall of 2002 and is about the King William/Lavaca Tree Project. Although not in the too distant past, I am writing about the tree project because I was part of the group of volunteers...

Read more: Old News

Thanks to all of you who have welcomed my leadership with open arms. I am excited and energized to embrace the task of leading this wonderful neighborhood association! I want to thank Harry Shafer for his strong leadership over the past two years. He has done an outstanding job in positioning the organization for the future.

I want to also take this opportunity to thank the members who have recently left the board: Anne Alexander, Annice Hill, Jessie Simpson, Patrick Conroy and Curtis Johnson. They have served our organization well and we appreciate their strong efforts.

Next, I want to thank the returning board members: Beth Davis, Patty Duarte, Josephine Garcia, Charlotte Luongo, Ethel Pedraza, Bradley Toland and Christine Viña. In addition, I would like to welcome all the new board members: Shawn Campbell, Gretchen Kragh, Erich Landry, Monika Maeckle, Betsy Schultz, Brad Shaw and Amanda Strickland. I thank you all for your commitment to our organization, and I am excited to work with you over the next year to lead this organization.

My vision for this year’s board is to develop a strong cohesive organization, building upon the accomplishments of our previous boards, that will lead the King William Association into the next phase. Change is inevitable for our neighborhood as Southtown becomes a more and more desirable place to live. Stopping change is not realistic and counterproductive. My goal is to navigate our organization through these changes, being proactive, not reactive, in managing our growth, so that we can remain the desired neighborhood that we all loved when we moved here.

All the best!!- Chris Price

Each year, Centro San Antonio recognizes those who have made a significant contribution to downtown with the “Downtown’s BEST” Awards. Initiated in 2001, the awards are divided among multiple categories that celebrate people, organizations and places that support downtown San Antonio. The BEST Awards Program is a juried event and awards are presented at an annual program.

Based on our partnership with the City on transit issues, KWA nominated the City Center Development Office (CCDO) for a “Best Award.” CCDO received this year’s Best Award for Private/Public Partnership as a result of our nomination. In addition, KWA nominated King William in the category of “BEST place to live.” This category, as well as “BEST place to eat,” were awarded based on popular vote. This is the third year in a row that King William has won Best Neighborhood and the fifth year in a row we have received an award from Centro. - Rose Kanusky

A view of the King William Fair as painted in watercolor by Caroline Shelton, 1977. This print is part of a larger folio depicting King William Street, created in the Japanese Makimona style and measuring 8 ½” X 10 ½” X 16’.

 

The King William Association Home Tours and Fairs not only celebrate and preserve history, they have made history as well. On Saturday, December 3 the KWA is going to kickoff a yearlong celebration for the 50th anniversary of its establishment in 1967 with a Holiday Home Tour and Fair.

K W A ’ s first home tour took place December 1967 with a tour of association president Ray Dobie’s home at 316 King William Street at a cost of $1 per person. Thus began the association’s goal of working on a history of the homes’ occupants during years past as well as its activism on behalf of the area. That year the issue was streetlights and the slogan “Write for Light” to city hall.

The first King William Fair took place April 1968 during San Antonio’s Fiesta and HemisFair ‘68. This included a tour of some historic houses in the neighborhood. The Fair and Home Tours were held in April at the same time through 1988. That year, there was also a Candlelight Tour of Homes in November.

An item in the San Antonio Light on April 26, 1985 gives an apt description of our beloved...

Read more: KWA to Provide a “First” to Celebrate a “Fiftieth”

King William Association Holiday Home Tour & Fair

Saturday, December 3, 2016

FREE Holiday Fair: 10:00 am- 5:00 pm

Home Tour: 11:00 am-5:00 pm

 

 

Join the Festivities as KWA Prepares to Celebrate its 50 Year Anniversary!

KWA is “Kicking-Off” its 50th Anniversary with a Holiday Home Tour & Fair. In a nod to past years when the Home Tour & Fair were held on the same day, we are adding a Fair to this year’s biennial tour of seven King William Historic homes.

 

The Holiday Fair will take place around the gazebo in King William Park on Turner and King William Streets. The hours are from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. In addition to art & craft vendors, food, beverages, fun activities, Santa, and live entertainment, KWA will be selling collectible holiday ornaments and a 50th Anniversary commemorative medal and T-shirts. The Fair is Free to attend, while the home tour has an admission fee.  

 

The seven residences on the Home Tour will be conveniently located near the fair. Tour includes: Oge House, Noble Inns-209 Washington; 112 King William; SA Art League and Museum- 130 King William; 202 King William; 203 King William; 208 King William; and Villa Finale Museum and Gardens- 401 King William  Pre-sale ($15) tickets for the Home Tour and Food/Beverage Tickets for Holiday Fair are available to purchase here and day of event ($20) tickets will be available for the tour. The Home Tour starts at 11 am and ends at 5 pm.

 

PURCHASE PRE-SALE TICKETS BY 12/02, 5 PM, HERE:

 

That same day, Beethoven Maennerchor will have its annual Free Kristkindlmarkt at 422 Pereida St. 78210http://www.beethovenmaennerchor.com/

Enjoy one or all the events! December 3, 2016.

Mark your calendars NOW so you won’t miss out on the celebration.

 

 

 

122 Madison St. * San Antonio, TX 78204 * www.ourkwa.org 

KWA Concert in the Park is a FREE concert series.

 

The Court Jesters

Sunday, October 9

5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

King William Park

 

Bring the whole family, chairs, blankets, bug spray, snacks and beverages.

Free cupcakes and coffee courtesy of Dulce Coffee & Bakery Shop for the first 100 attendees!

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.