KWA Newsletter Articles

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!

Last month I wrote about a visit I made to the Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard. I have since discovered an olive tree growing nearby with olives on it. The tree is growing in the vacant lot in the 1600 block of S. Presa at Jacob Street. The owner of the lot happens to be a King William neighbor and told me that any newsletter reader was welcome to go by and pick as many olives as they like.

I found out during my tour of Sandy Oaks Orchard that you do not just pick an olive and eat it. Olives contain a bitter tasting compound and must be “cured” to make them palatable. I did a little internet research and found that at “Olives-Safe Methods for Home Pickling” there are directions for the curing process. If you are adventurous give it a try.

We are approaching fall and there are things to do to get ready for winter...

Read more: Out in the Garden: October 2016

An opening reception for local artist Jesus Toro Martinez was held on September 1 at the KWA office, 122 Madison Street, San Antonio, TX 78204.

Titled “Westi Lost in the Park” this series of paintings , described by the artist as "Whimsical notes of the dogs that carried on in the park" was recently shown at the Latino Art Museum in Los Angeles.

The paintings will be on display through November 30. 

During the past decade, King William has witnessed how the property taxation applied to residential owners is overwhelmingly disproportionate to other properties such as commercial, institutional, industrial, amusement, and other uses. This has frustrated many King William homeowners. And the fly in the ointment: we continue to receive unfair taxation assessments, which were never properly adjusted during the housing collapse from 2008-2012. The Bexar County Appraisal District (BCAD) is not a mirror to the housing market, despite the proclamations they claim.

Why have assessed/appraised values fallen out of sync with the average homeowner? Short answer: Texas is a non-income tax state. It needs property taxation to generate the majority of its revenues. Taxing authorities use the open, imperfect, Multiple-Listing-Service (MLS) to extract sales data – even if actual sales did not occur.

Under the Texas Taxpayer Bill of Rights, we have a right to...

Read more: Over Taxed, Over Assessed

King William Cultural Arts District Member Spotlight– An occasional feature highlighting some of the organizations and artists in our neighborhood.

The sounds of accordion and the traditional conjunto guitar, the bajo sexto, meet the visitor walking up to the front door of the offices. Opening the door one sees a group of players in a circle – older men, young children – sitting and practicing riffs and...

Read more: Tradition Continues at Conjunto Heritage Taller

SAISD has called for a $450 million bond and a Tax Ratification Election (TRE) to raise the school district’s tax rate by 13 cents. Voters residing within the district’s boundaries will be asked to consider the two separate ballot propositions in November to provide funding toward extensive school building renovations,upgrades for 21st-century classrooms and programs for expanded learning opportunities outside the normal school day.

The bond would fund renovations at 13 schools, replacing aging infrastructure systems that in most cases are more than 40 years old, upgrading science labs and expanding other classroom spaces to the recommended state guidelines. The increased operating revenue generated from the TRE would assist the district in providing technology and other classroom enhancements district wide to meet today’s educational standards. The TRE also would provide additional funds for teacher compensation for afterschool and summer programs.

For more information, call 554-2230 or visit www.saisd.net/bondTRE201 

That young women who just took a picture of your house could be just another tourist, but look more closely - she is Isabel Howard, the KWA intern helping to document the architectural style of our homes. She will be working in the neighborhood in October and November gathering information which will be included in our revision of Mary Burkholder’s classic book, The King William Area.

Isabel is a 5th-generation Texan and a lover of history. She received her undergraduate degree in History of Art and Architecture at Middlebury College in Vermont, and is now glad to be back in Texas. She served as a historic parks consultant for the Alamo Plaza and Travis Park plans for the City of San Antonio, and is now in the Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation Program at UTSA. - Jessie Simpson

The Magic of Autumn is here. The nights are longer and the mornings are dark. Please be extra careful the mornings these days, when it is still dark while children make their way to school. Be mindful of crosswalks and school zones. Hang up and drive – cell phone use is not allowed in vehicles in school zones.

When my son was in second grade, one of his classmates was hit by a truck on the way home after school. The boy could not remember his name nor his parents’ names, but he knew his teacher’s name! That was how the first responders were able to notify his parents. While this was terrible for the child and his family, thankfully, the child suffered no permanent injuries. However, the event was a terrible experience for the driver of the truck as well. You do not want to be the person who hits a child with your vehicle.

Now we are celebrating the beginning of autumn, preparing for the Fall Festival, which will be on November 4 this year, and Dia de los Muertos. Our Monarch Gardens continue to serve as a way station for butterflies going to Mexico...

Read more: Garden St. School News

Blue Star Contemporary is delighted to share with our neighbors in King William the exciting news that we were recently awarded $87,522 from the Texas Commission on the Arts’ Cultural District Project grant program. This special initiative, separate from its programmatic grants, specifically supports the growth of cultural tourists to the state’s cultural districts. As an institution within the King William Cultural Arts District, Blue Star Contemporary was eligible to apply.

Last year, Blue Star’s board and staff convened to develop our 2015-2020 Strategic Plan, an ambitious guide that includes modernizing and making accessible our facilities and infrastructure, consistent branding as Blue Star Contemporary, and serving as a leader in San Antonio’s visual arts community with global recognition.

As you may have noticed, we are in the middle of capital renovations—

Read more: Texas Commission on the Arts Grants Awarded- Blue Star Contemporary

In September 2011 the Texas Commission on theArts voted for a Cultural Arts District to be established in King William under the auspices of the King William Association, one of 29 in the state. The purpose of Cultural Arts Districts is to help stimulate economic development and revitalize communities. According to the TCA, these districts “can become focal points for generating businesses, attracting tourists, stimulating development and fostering civic pride.”

Success factors for cultural districts include:

  • • Clear signage in place so visitors and the community can recognize boundaries.
  • • User-friendly website with comprehensive information about the CAD available for the community and visitors.
  • • Strong amenities such as restaurants, lodging, recreation that bolster the community.

The King William Cultural Arts District (KWCAD) extends from Al Rendon’s photography studio and Jenny Garcia’s glassmaking studio on S. Alamo down to SAY Si. It also goes to west City Street, encompassing Villa Finale and the Steves Homestead.

After the KWCAD was designated by the TCA, ...

Read more: Texas Commission on the Arts Grants Awarded- King William Cultural Arts District

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.