KWA Newsletter Articles

If you’re reading this memorial, then you knew Sue Duffy.  What?  You say you didn’t know her? I beg to differ.  If you’ve enjoyed the parade at the King William Fair just once over the last eleven years, then you did know Sue Duffy, who passed away in May. 

Although known most recently as our Chief Parade Wrangler, Sue’s relationship with King William was quite long.  Decades ago, she performed on our stages as an Irish dancer, and she managed portions of the parade before being tapped to “chair” the event, a title she quickly dumped in favor of something more accurate in her point of view. 

I hope everyone is having a great summer!  While the kids are out of school, things at the KWA continue to move along. 

The City rolled out its pilot parking program for the King William and Lavaca neighborhoods.  The KWA is assisting with its implementation. If you live or work on an affected street, you should have been contacted by the KWA to inform you about the new parking guidelines.  For more information, contact the KWA office. 

The votes have been cast and the winners declared for the 2017 King William Parade.  Suffice it to say “arbitrary” is the word of the day as the level of awesomeness among our MANY participants was the best we’ve seen yet.  

Our dutiful team put their heads together, eyes glazed over from wonderment, and voted with their hearts.  And while they wished an award could be given to all – winners had to be selected.  So, without further ado – here they are!

Penny Wiederhold moved into the neighborhood in 1981 with her husband and son.  Back then, the only thing the Fair had for children was a baby-sitting service run by one of the residents.  Penny talked to the Fair folks about doing something for kids, and the next thing you know she created and ran the Children’s Area for four years. 

She started off with a fishing booth since her four-and-a-half year old son, Ted, was enamored with them.

Amols’, our iconic novelty and party store on S. Flores Street, will be moving a couple of miles up the road toward the Deco District soon, and owners Jeffrey and Maritza Weiss aren’t happy to go.  After 55 years at their current location, the decision to move is a very emotional one.  The neighborhood went through hard times, but Jeffrey’s grandfather, founder Julian Amols, stuck it out at the same address downtown.  Julian loved the central location with easy access to highways on both sides.  

“I grew up here – this is our home.  I have always worked here and we love this neighborhood and location,” said Jeffrey.  He grew up working with his grandfather and took over the business in 1991.

The lovely cottage at 232 Washington Street is an excellent example of how a structure can go from a disaster to a thing of beauty.

The house was built in 1904 by Olga Froebel Umscheid.  She lived there for a number of years, but by 1929 it had been converted into apartments.  By the 1970s the cottage had fallen into disrepair and was essentially abandoned since property taxes had not been paid for many years.

Did architect J. Riely Gordon design the house at 103 City St.?  Tantalizing hints suggest that he might have.  Rudolph Staacke and his wife, Adele Sartor Staacke, built the house in 1894, the same year that Riely Gordon designed the  Staacke Bros. building for Rudolph and his brother August at 309 East Commerce St.  The buildings share some design elements, including the arched stone entry and architectural features topped by medallions. 

Have you ever read the King William Association Charter?  You can look at your KWA directory or go onto our website www.ourkwa.org.  The Charter is the legal document used to establish a corporation identifying the entity’s name, address, purpose, profit/nonprofit status and the directors.  Fifty years ago the below people were the first officers of the newly formed association.  The Charter states: 

“IN WITNESS WHEREOF, we have hereunto set our hands this 28 day of July, 1967.

It’s hard to believe that it is already summer.  The kids are home, vacations are planned and the fun begins. 

We had a very busy spring, which was capped off by another successful King William Fair.  We are still tabulating the results and will report them when final.  The results are no doubt due to the dedication and support of our staff, sponsors, volunteers, and of course our residents.  I personally want extend a huge thank you to Zet Baer, who is stepping down as the Fair organizer, for her years of service and leadership.  Zet’s vision and leadership made the Fair what it is today and we promise to build on it as we move forward. 

This fall the City will be investing $1 million dollars to improve South Alamo Street from Pereida to South St. Mary’s Streets, providing pavement, bicycle lane and sidewalk improvements.  After working for over a year with City staff regarding South Alamo Street, the City identified and secured funding to improve the street.  However, due to a funding shortage the project was not going to add new street lights.  To add pedestrian street lights to match those installed on South Alamo Street south of Pereida, the City needed additional funding.  

Short-term rentals (STR) is a hot topic in San Antonio and the State of Texas.  As stated in Rose Kanusky’s article last month, the KWA was instrumental in the 90s in the creation of San Antonio’s B&B ordinance. With the advent of the internet, marketing of houses or rooms for rent is on the rise.  The Texas Legislature has two bills pending regarding STRs; House Bill 2551 and Senate Bill 451.  Both bills basically limit a city’s regulatory authority over STRs. House Bill 2551 is currently “dead” in the Urban Affairs Committee.  Senate Bill 451 was approved was sent to the Urban Affairs committee to be voted on May 20.  

The first phase of the AT&T Fiber project will be in the northern portion of King William, with expected installation from July through September.  What does this mean?  Digging, 22” x 17” holes in the right-of-way (grassy parkway area), then boring underground to add duct to hold the fibers.  Boxes will then be placed underground with a plastic lid at grade level.  

There will also be some aerial construction.  Submitted plans have one above-ground fiber hut, 40.5” x 42.8” x 19.9”, located at the end of E. Sheridan Street.  KWA worked with the City and AT&T regarding the placement and screening of this hut to reduce the visual impact to the streetscape.  The Office of Historic Preservation has approved the project.  

- Cherise Bell

Many Fair guests return year after year to shop for art and handcrafted jewelry in San Antonio’s oldest and most beautiful neighborhood.  This year, over 400 artists applied and 200 were selected to participate in the 50th King William Fair.  Art & Craft Chairs Nancy and Chris Price and their team had the challenging but oh-so-fun job of selecting the best of the best from this outstanding field.  

Congratulations to the 2017 King William Fair Art & Craft Award Winners!

Best in Show, Henry Rayburn Award for Creativity & Originality - Eric Mort, Eric Mort Art Glass

Applauded by Fair guests and other artists alike for his Best in Show win, Eric creates pocket galaxy spheres and pendants from borosilicate (pyrex) glass, soda lime glass, precious metals and opals using an ancient art known as flameworking. 

Temporary storage containers were designed to be placed in driveways on private property.  To place a temporary storage unit on a street or sidewalk, the City requires a permit, which is available from the “One Stop” facility at Alamo St. and Flores St. 

Please note that the storage container must have reflective barricades.  More information about the City’s Right of Way Ordinance is available on the City’s website. 

- Rose Kanusky

 

A Rehabber project is coming to King William! The SA Preservation Rehabber Club and the King William Association are partnering on June 23 and 24 to raise the architectural integrity of neighborhood homes by removing asbestos siding to reveal and repair the wood siding underneath.

Integrity, as defined by The National Park Service, is “the authenticity of a property's historic identity, evidenced by the survival of physical characteristics…” Seven qualities are considered when evaluating integrity, materials is one. 

As late as the 1980s, the little caliche block cottage at 201 Cedar Street was still being referred to by neighbors as “the chicken coop.”  Johnny Von Dohlen, however, saw a diamond in the rough.

Roz and I were good friends with the Von Dohlens in Houston where Johnny was an agent for HUD for many years.  In the 1980s, his job took him to San Antonio.  Rather than move the family to San Antonio, they decided to move back to their ancestral home in Goliad while Johnny spent his work weeks in San Antonio.  It wasn’t long before he fell in love with King William’s architecture and small town atmosphere.  He rented a small apartment behind 516 King William Street from Dorothy Schuchard.  He referred to this tiny space as his “walk-in-back-out” house.

We have been cutting lawns for a while now, so it is time for my annual appeal to reduce air pollution by recommending that readers switch from a gas powdered lawnmower to an electrical mower.  It has been reported that gas mowers pollute as much in an hour as a car in a day.  Another plus for electricity is that electric mowers hardly ever need repairs other than to perhaps have the blade replaced which would also be required with gas mowers.  Just plug it in, flip the switch, and go.  

 

Parade viewing has been historically very low.  This gives the parade participants the idea that the parade is over and they start to bail.  The Parade Team wanted parade viewers all the way back to Eagleland.

Last year we went before the Board with our request.  We were posed a number of good questions, then given the OK from the Board.  This spring we included the route change (and time change 9:45-ish on Adams) to quite a number of media outlets. 

And the viewers came!  While it wasn’t yet crowded, it did have a sizeable number of viewers, and there were many neighbors on their porches celebrating the new route.

Thank you KWA Board!

- Sue Duffy, Chief Parade Wrangler