KWA Newsletter Articles

The sign on the door said “Closed during August,” but there was a lot of action inside the San Antonio Art League & Museum.  Downstairs, volunteers and board members were carefully sliding out paintings by the Onderdonks, William Merritt Chase and Jose Arpa from their storage spaces as they documented and tagged the 600+ artworks in the League’s Permanent Collection.  Meanwhile, the old Gift Shop was being scaled down to provide more exhibition space.  Upstairs, SAAL&M members were putting together a salon-style Members Gallery that will showcase work by nine different artists every two months.  

Adding to the mix was excitement and anticipation about the blockbuster September exhibit, a solo show by James Wyatt Hendricks, the Art League’s Artist of the Year for 2017. If you haven’t seen it, it’s up until October 22, and it’s not to be missed.  Hendriks’ interpretation of Myth and Hero in metal, resin, paint and Prismacolor fills the gallery with magic. 

Summer is past.  We are officially into fall and there are many things that can be done in the garden.  

Compost and organic fertilizer can be applied to lawns to build soil and strengthen roots for spring growth.  Mulch around trees, shrubs, and perennials to protect roots in case we get some cold weather this winter.  Leave an exposed ring about a foot in diameter around the base of the plants.  

Tastes change, styles change.  What’s popular today is passé tomorrow.  So it is with architecture.

Take the Cook/Keating house at 222 King William Street, which began circa 1890 as a one-story caliche block house.  In 1895, George Kalteyer bought the property at a sheriff’s auction for $2700.  In 1906, his granddaughter, Minnie Kalteyer Cook, inherited the house.  She and her husband, Dr. Fred W. Cook, president of the San Antonio Drug Company, added a second story as well as a porch and Mission style parapet under the guidance of architect Atlee Ayres.  Listed in the archive of Ayres’ architectural plans is “Fred Cook – Residence addition and stable.” 

Do you want to be part of The Party with a Purpose year-round?  When you join the Fiesta San Antonio Commission, you become part of a proud tradition celebrating San Antonio’s culture and diversity – and receive benefits all year long!  

Just some of the benefits you will have access to include your very own exclusive annual Fiesta® member medal, special discounts, early access to tickets and opportunities for discounted advertising through the Fiesta® Commission.

Major investments in flood control infrastructure on the San Antonio River over the past 100 years has saved downtown San Antonio in terms of life and property, and has opened opportunity for a growing city center to overcome many of the hurdles imposed by being in the heart of Flash Flood Alley.  

Olmos Dam: The First Line of Defense

Four miles north of downtown, a concrete wall stretches across the open space between Highway 281 and the edge of Alamo Heights.  Olmos Dam was built to prevent destruction of downtown from flooding.  In 1921, lethal amounts of rain caused massive flood waters to engulf downtown San Antonio, killing 51 people.  

The completion of Olmos Dam in 1926 marked the beginning of a comprehensive flood control system to protect downtown.  Following a storm a 1935, the Olmos Dam proved its worth by holding back 20 feet of water, and, for over 90 years now, the Dam has stood guard over downtown.  Since its completion, Olmos Dam has undergone two major upgrades to ensure its continued reliability: once in the 1982 and again in 2010. 

On a cold winter evening in February 1982, a four-alarm fire raged through the two-story house at 230 Madison Street.  After hours of fighting the flames, the San Antonio Fire Department declared the house a total loss.  Sadly, four elderly residents died in the fire. 

The 1896 Reilly House, though in disrepair, was said by the Express-News reporter to be an “excellent example of the Queen Anne architectural style.”  The article went on to say that the stained glass windows were perhaps the finest to be found in King William.

After the debris from the fire was cleared away, the lot sat vacant for several years.  Then a remarkable thing happened.  A two-story house located at 951 South Alamo, between Tito’s and The Friendly Spot (current site of The Victorian), was turned around, moved to face Madison Street and renumbered 230 Madison.  The house was bought and restored by Carolyn Cole in the early 1990s to become her Bed & Breakfast, which she operated for several years.  She named it The Brackenridge House B&B honoring John T. Brackenridge, who built the house in 1901.  

This was a favorite place to stay for a weekend getaway when Roz and I lived in Houston.  Sitting on the upstairs balcony watching the sunset on a summer evening with a cold bottle of Chardonnay brings back happy memories.

The current owner recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of the house’s resurrection.

- Bill Cogburn

 

Congratulations to Zet Baer, Fair Manager, for receiving the 2017 TFEA Dr. Carson Watt Professional of the Year Award at the Texas Festivals and Events Association (TFEA) Conference Awards Luncheon held in Fort Worth on July 28!  Zet was recognized by her peers for her outstanding enthusiasm, expertise and accomplishments in the Texas festival and event industry.  We are truly proud to celebrate Zet’s achievements with her.  

The King William Fair also took home two first place awards at the 2017 TFEA Kaliff Zenith Marketing Awards Luncheon on July 29: Best Event Program and Best T-shirt Design in our event budget category.  Thanks to the designers and staff who made our 50th King William Fair promotional items look so sharp!  

- Syeira Budd, Fair Supervisor

 

Even the signs and advertisements that proclaim “Back to School” have begun to disappear after their fervid flowering at the end of August.  I’m back in the classroom and so is my latest crop of graduate students.  The economy is strong, and they all have part time jobs in the architects’ offices where most of them are likely to begin their post-graduate careers.  Finding an opening as an undergraduate isn’t so easy; employers aren’t as likely to be charitable about less developed skills and translucent resumes. 

Every August at the KWA General Membership meeting the slate for next year’s board members are named by the nominating committee in addition members have an opportunity to nominate a qualified member “from the floor”.  This year we have nine returning board members and six new members.  Elections will be held at the September 6 General Membership meeting.  Please come out, vote and meet your board members.  

September 11, 2017 is a special date for the King William Association (KWA) and neighborhood.  It’s the sixth anniversary of the designation of the King William Cultural Arts District (KWCAD) by the Board of Governors of the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Ours was the first Cultural Arts District in San Antonio, and is distinguished by being one of few in the state that was sponsored by a neighborhood group and not a city government. Since then, Zona Cultural, sponsored by the City, was named San Antonio’s second cultural arts district in 2015.  This downtown district is supported by Centro San Antonio, a collection of downtown organizations with a goal to keep San Antonio vibrant. 

We had some very good rains in early August, between 3 and 4 inches depending on where you live.  However, after such a long dry spell we still need to conserve water usage as much as possible.  Remember, what goes up also comes down.  That includes the water level in the aquifer.  Stay abreast of water use restrictions; currently, Stage 1 in effect: once a week on the day that corresponds to the last number of your address, and before 11:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m.  Use sprinklers that disburse water close to the ground rather than into the air to reduce evaporation, and be sure they are not over-spraying onto streets or sidewalks. 

Homeowners are responsible for maintaining tree limb height clearance of at least 14 feet high over alley bed by 15 feet wide for vehicles to enter.  The alley bed must be reasonably free of debris and passable to vehicles (City code Ch. 14-64).  Low overhanging tree limbs need to be trimmed to 8 feet above the sidewalk.  

Don’t try to trim tree limbs that are growing onto power lines – it’s dangerous and you could be electrocuted!  If you find yourself in this situation, call City Public Service at 210-353-2222 to report it. 

To see San Antonio’s Property Maintenance Code, visit sanantonio.gov/dsd/codes.  For all City Codes, go to municode.com/library/TX/San_Antonio.

New members welcome!

Books of every description – new, old, fiction, nonfiction, bestsellers, obscuriana. 

Meets last Monday of each month, 6:30 p.m.,at Liberty Bar. 

For more information contact Annice Hill at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Over 23 years ago a group of King William neighbors were working and planning a program.  Neighborhood leaders, who realized the urgent need in the community for youth development programming with a critical emphasis on the arts, launched SAY Sí.  Starting from very humble beginnings, but with admirable ideals, the program quickly grew. 

After 23 years we have broadened our philosophy beyond arts education to join an international movement, creative youth development.  At the forefront, SAY Sí has successfully shown that creative communities help young people succeed.

Hello to all my neighbors!  I am very excited to be serving as the 2018 King William Fair Chair and look forward to a successful Fair next April.  For the past seven years, I have been the chair of the Food Committee (and co-chair with Ginger Ardid for some of those years).  What a trip it has been!  A lot of work, but much more fun than work!  The Fair staff and I are currently looking for someone to step in to the position as Food Chair for next year.  I will offer my guidance and any hand-holding needed, plus we already have a great group of food vendors ready to return. 

This past April, when Audubon Texas announced its 2017 Terry Hershey Awards for outstanding contributions to conservation by Texas women, King William neighbor Susan Hughes was one of the four awardees. The honor recognizes decades of public advocacy by Hughes as naturalist, activist, public advisor — and elected official: elected to the board of the Edwards Aquifer Authority at its inception in 1996, she has been returned to that role by District 6 voters ever since. But King William residents may also know her and her husband Bruce as the people on Guenther Street with all those purple martin houses.

Hello, Neighbors, 

We are already past halfway through the summer, and I hope it is going well for you and your family. 

Neighbors and friends celebrated the July 4th holiday with our annual King William Regatta and picnic in Upper Mill Park.  Thanks to all the participants in the regatta, and congratulations to our new champions in the canoe division: the father and son team of Bradley and Alec Toland!  We had a great turnout for the picnic after the regatta.  Thanks to all who attended and for the delicious food everyone brought.  I also want to thank Brad Shaw and his volunteers who made the picnic such a success.  If you were not able to attend this year, we hope to see you at next year’s regatta and picnic.  It’s a great way to celebrate Independence Day with family and friends.