KWA Newsletter Articles

The King William Association Charter was submitted to the State of Texas on July 28, 1967. The purpose of a charter is to proclaim an organization’s purpose and intent. Seven purposes are listed in the King William Charter. This article is about the sixth purpose.

6. In further pursuance of this purpose, the corporation shall plan, promote, and conduct activities and special events designed to attract people to the King William Area for educational and cultural pursuits and to promote the arts and crafts.

Behind the scenes, it is a busy summer for the KWA. In the last issue I mentioned the Board of Directors will work on and approve a 2014 budget which will include funding for many of the activities we support throughout the year: concerts at SARA, artists at the office, graffiti clean-up, tree planting, the home tour program, sidewalks, socials and scholarships. The budget also includes general operating expenses from salaries to staples. In addition, we budget for building maintenance of our office on S. Alamo. After accounting for what the KWA needs to operate and complete programs or approved projects we look to the remainder of the KW Fair income to award grants to organizations throughout our community.

The Architectural Advisory Committee of the King William Association has declared 2013 “The Year of the Window” ... and in previous issues of the Newsletter we have discussed the City’s historic guidelines that call for appropriate, energy-conserving restoration of historic windows over replacement. In this installment we visit with neighbors whose home and guest house exemplify best practices for residential window restoration (and much else besides!).

The King William Association Charter was submitted to the State of Texas on July 28, 1967. The purpose of a Charter is to proclaim an organization’s purpose and intent. Seven purposes are listed in the King William Charter. This article is about the fifth purpose.

5. The corporation shall foster and promote the cooperation and support of individuals, business groups, civic groups, and governmental units in developing tourist attractions in the general area and in strengthening the economic and cultural life of the surrounding area.

Over two weekends in late May and early June, between 10 and 11 inches of rain fell over most of the area between S. Flores St. and the I-37 Freeway. If you have a lawn of any size you have probably been out cutting it every few days. It seems clear that xeric landscapes are not only environmentally better, but can be less labor intensive. If you would like to reduce the amount of grass in your landscape, go by 815 E. Guenther to get some ideas about what can be done to reduce water usage and still have an appealing garden. If you have gone by this garden before, notice that there seems to be more pieces of unique yard art than previously.

There’s a new social network gaining popularity in San Antonio. It’s called Nextdoor, and it is a private social network designed to help neighbors connect and communicate. Different from email and Facebook groups, Nextdoor was designed from the ground up to help serve neighborhood-specific goals: fight crime, find lost pets, discuss neighborhood issues, organize yard-sales and community events, find baby-sitters and share recommendations on everything from restaurants to handymen.

A 1948 city map shows South Main Ave. dead-ending on the north edge of the old U. S. Arsenal property at current day Cesar Chavez Blvd. On the south side of the Arsenal, the street, which eventually became the southern extension of South Main was named Bois d’arc. Bois d’arc ran just two blocks from Arsenal Street to Johnson Street then it became Frasch Street until it dead-ended on South Alamo.

Ah, summer is here – or is it ugh, summer is here? On Sunday, June 2 at 6:30 p.m. on the banks of the San Antonio River, it was definitely “Ah, summer is here!” The Mission City Hot Rhythm Cats were performing for the KWA concert series at the San Antonio River Authority and the weather was fabulous. The temperature stayed under 90 and cool breezes wafted across the grounds. I settled in to my portable travel chair, poured a glass of pinot grigio and took in the sights and sounds.

The King William Association Charter was submitted to the State of Texas on July 28, 1967. The purpose of a charter is to proclaim an organization’s purpose and intent. Seven purposes are listed in the King William Charter. This article is about the fourth purpose.

4. In order to disseminate historical and cultural material and to promote the King William Association and its purposes, the corporation shall publish periodicals, pamphlets, and other materials from time to time as the Board of Directors deems appropriate.

Thanks to everyone for a great King William Fair! It was a magical time and, despite the rain, everyone I saw had big smiles.

We couldn't do it without the multitude of volunteers, sponsors and supporters. There are too many to name, but your hard work will be repaid in the good that the KWA will be able to do for our community via grants this coming year.
I would especially like to praise the KW staff of Zet Baer, Susan Rothman, Cherise Bell, Monika Perez-Moad and Carol Jackson. They were awesome! If you see any of these women, please give them a big hug!

Finally, this is your first chance to start thinking about volunteering to be Fair Chair for next year. If you’re interested, let us know. It’s a great job, I promise!

Michael Girdley, 2013 Fair Chair

Thanks to These Folks Who Made the 2013 KW Fair a Great Success!

Fair Chair: Michael Girdley
Admissions: Ruben Cuero, Alan Cash, Bill Cogburn
Art & Craft: Max Martinez, Roland Rodriguez
Beverages: George Reihner, Kit Walker, Jim Johnson, Jr.
Enforcement: Mary Helen and Joe Mansbach
Entertainment: Rudi Harst
Environmental: Jack Kent, Jeremy Nelson
Food: Annice Hill, Ginger Ardid, Keith Hill,
Ilse’s Attic: Nancy Diehl
Kids Kingdom: Richard Contreras, Richard Warren, Mission Trail Rotary
Marking: John Hartman, Rose Kanusky, Siboney Diaz-Sanchez
Office: Roslyn Cogburn, Connie & Max Martinez, Mary Ann Ohlenbusch, Deb Mueller, Rosemary Segura, Joe Van Meter, Molly & Harry Shafer, Michael Anderson, Dolores Lopez, Joe Shinner, Penny Abbott, Mark Saenz, Frank Tijerina, Cyndee Conrad, Trinity Walker, Donna Simon, Dina Toland, Deb Field
Parade: Sue Duffy, John Doski, Ryan Orsinger, Jerry Witte, Pat Conroy
Parade/ KW Kids: Naomi Neuburger
Signage: Ed Day, John Doski, Joachim Singelmann
VIP Hosts: Villa Finale
Everything Else: Monty Baer, Eric Guess

- Zet Baer


We are still under Stage 2 watering restrictions. They have changed slightly. Landscape watering with an irrigation system, sprinkler or soaker hose is still allowed only once a week on your designated day determined by your address. Watering times have been changed to 7:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m., and 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Garden Tips:

  • Trim the "sucker" shoots sprouting at the base of crepe myrtles. These take nutrients from the main plant, reducing its vitality.
  • New plants added to the garden need frequent watering for their roots to grow outside their root ball and become established in the soil. Annuals, perennials and shrubs should be watered thoroughly when the top two inches of soil are dry. The amount of water disbursed by a sprinkler system is not usually enough to sustain new plantings.
  • Now is the time to trim climbing roses if you have not already. New growth will produce next springs flowers.
    Wait until the foliage of spring-blooming bulbs to turns brown before trimming.
  • The recipe for hummingbird feeders is 1/4 cup sugar to 1 cup warm water. Change at least weekly.

1974, 1976, 1987, 1997 and 2009…what do these years have in common for the King William Association? The KWA By-Laws were revised and adopted by the membership in each of these years. Over the course of my time serving on the Board of Directors, it became apparent that the By-Laws needed to be looked at once again. There were standing committees with no members; some By-Laws sections had to be read two to three times to understand them clearly; and the nonprofit consultant leading our Board orientation this year agreed revisions would be prudent. Therefore, one of my goals as President was to revise the By-Laws.

The King William Association Charter, asserting the organization’s purpose and intent, was submitted to the State of Texas on July 28, 1967. Seven purposes are listed in the KWA Charter; this article concerns the third.

3. The corporation shall systematically collect and preserve articles, documents, pictures, books, tools of agriculture, art, home furnishings, and other items representing the heritage and culture of home life, education, religion, government, and work (industry) in order to preserve same and make them available for study and use by writers and others and viewing by the general public. In this regard, special attention shall be devoted to the Pioneer-Residents of the King William Area.

Home builders of the 19th and early 20th centuries recognized windows as critical components of environmental control that offered natural daylight and ventilation before the advent of electric lighting and mechanical air conditioning. The functional importance of windows was celebrated by making these elements a critical part of exterior design – in simple houses like Craftsman bungalows, windows might be the primary design element. Yet one of the most common mistakes made in rehabilitating historic homes (and one of the most common issues homeowners face in passing the City’s mandatory historic review) is to replace original, usually wood, windows with new “energy saving”, mass-produced products. Tempting as they are, these new products are often far less durable than the historic windows they replace, and lack the detail that contributed to the original character of the house. Worse, some homeowners are tempted to alter the size and proportions of original openings to accommodate stock sizes of contemporary windows, forever altering the original design of the house.

Fortunately, a growing number of San Antonio builders recognize that historic windows can often be repaired rather than replaced at competitive cost. Damaged wood can be reconstructed, and drafts can be stopped with sealants and storm windows that have minimal visual impact on the original design. The Architectural Advisory Committee of the King William Association has declared 2013 the “Year of the Window,” and in future issues of this newsletter we will introduce you to neighbors and local contractors who have demonstrated best practices for restoration, repair and maintenance of historic windows.

On November 8, 2012, City Council adopted new, comprehensive City of San Antonio Historic Design Guidelines to provide detailed guidance for property owners, architects, and contractors – and also to define the standards that the City Office of Historic Preservation now uses to review plans for building repair, rehabilitation, additions, and new construction in King William and other historic districts. You can access the guidelines at or read them in the reference sections of the Central Library and several branch libraries. In the words of the Guidelines:

“The proportion, shape, pattern, and size of historic doors, windows, and screens help convey the style and period of a building and contribute to its overall architectural character. In addition, the quality of construction of historic windows is generally much better than that of replacement windows and can be preserved through regular maintenance. Properly maintained and sealed historic windows are efficient and sustainable.” -- CoSA Historic Design Guidelines 2: Guidelines for Exterior Maintenance and Alterations.

Part 2: Eyes Wide Open

I forget who said it: if eyes are the windows of the soul, then windows are the eyes of a house. And like our own eyes, windows reveal the character and personality of the homes they illuminate… and they need to be treated with care and respect.

The Architectural Advisory Committee of the King William Association has declared 2013 “The Year of the Window” to focus on this important component of historic design. In the March KWA newsletter I noted the temptation for an owner of an historic house to replace old windows with allegedly energy-efficient units, despite the serious threat that this poses to the historical integrity and character of the home. (And that character is why we choose to live in King William, right?) It’s worth remembering:

Replacing windows is expensive, and existing windows can often be brought back to good performance for a comparable cost.

Substantial energy savings can be achieved by addressing other components of the house – especially insulation in attics and roofs – often at a cost less than or comparable to extensive window replacement.

Infiltration (drafts), the major thermal issue for windows in our relatively temperate climate, can be controlled by repairing glazing putty, adjusting poorly-fitting sash, installing storm windows … or just closing the drapes.

Historic homes were designed to ventilate well – and that’s a good thing. Although it can be hard to remember when we’re suffering through a Texas August, about half the time a well-ventilated house in San Antonio needs no artificial climate control except for ceiling fans.

Historic windows do require maintenance and, after decades of service, may need substantial repair. A useful guide to repairing wooden windows – the most common type in King William – is available from the US Department of the Interior at

- Jack Kent, Jr.

By the time you receive this the King William Fair will be just over. Now we can get back to our normal routines.

That means planting things becoming available at your favorite nursery. A popular vine usually available now because they have been blooming for the past couple of weeks, is the Confederate Jasmine, sometimes called Star Jasmine. It is a dark green, generally evergreen vine, covered with very fragrant white flowers. You normally find them in one gallon containers at reasonable prices. They tolerate sun but do equally well in partial shade.

San Antonio’s Downtown Alliance presented its annual awards at a luncheon at the Westin Riverwalk on April 11, 2013.  Each year, Downtown Alliance 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, and is a juried event.  This year, two King William neighbors and the King William Association and were recognized.