KWA Newsletter Articles

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.

Like an elegant lady who’s ready to show her face again, 202 King William sits proudly on a prominent corner opposite the King William Park.  She definitely commands a second look.

Augustus Koch’s 1873 Bird’s Eye View map shows Malvina Nelson’s house at 202 King William to be a one-story structure.  In 1883, Nelson sold the house to Francisco Ruiz and by 1889, the house had been enlarged, clad with brick, and had gained a second story.

After the article about 103 City appeared in last month’s newsletter, I received information from Marita Emmett which established that Albert Beckmann was the architect.

Her fascinating email follows:

Many years ago Maria Pfeiffer found the booklet “Architectural Beauties of San Antonio,” published in 1896 by architect Albert Beckmann, that has a photo of my house. Beckmann was son-in-law to the Guenther family.  Armed with that book, I began identifying other Beckmann houses.  Mine at 303 Adams is different because, unfortunately, somebody painted the brick.  Most of the other houses still have the sand-colored brick with red brick accents and limestone accessories.  Beckmann used the same exterior materials on most of his houses.  Bulk buying isn’t such a new trend after all.  

I suspect that Beckmann was the architect of 103 City Street.  The exterior is certainly comparable to, say, the Walker house at 523 King William, the Cabrera house at 219 Guenther Street, the Price house at 331 Adams, and the Williams/McDonald house at 133 Crofton.  The interiors of Beckmann homes also are formulaic; not identical, but most are based on an identifiable template as varied by budgets and personal choices.  I don’t know if the interior of 103 City Street fits the Beckmann formula layout. 

Marita and I worked together to see if Beckmann’s “Architectural Beauties” booklet included the home at 103 City Street.  Sure enough, there is a photo of that home as originally built and identified as the “residence of Mr. Rud. Staacke.”  Interestingly, we discovered that another City Street home also is the work of Beckmann.  What is now the Mason’s Lodge at 212 City Street was built by Beckmann as the “residence of Dr. Jules Braunnagel.”  

- Jessie Simpson

One last look.  I’m standing in the now empty house that I’ve loved and labored over for almost eleven years.  It looks for all the world like the last scene from Checkhov’s Cherry Orchard.  There is the shadow of a banjo clock on the wall at the landing where its rhythmic ticking acted as the beating heart of the place.  The chandelier with its Edison bulbs in the dining room now floats over empty space, no table to illuminate.  The built-in china cabinet is void of its contents, its mirrored back reflecting nothing but daylight filtered through lace curtains. 

The 85th legislative Session was certainly challenging; however, our office had some victories, two of which I want to share with you here.

SB 725, also known as the Student Fairness in Feeding Act, was developed as a result of my visits with educators from all 55 public schools in my district.  No matter which school district, these educators identified chronic hunger of students as a problem, yet ripe, edible, and wrapped food was being thrown away daily.  Schools want to give their kids this food, but fear of violating policy kept them from doing so.  The bill permits schools to have an on-campus food pantry that allows schools to collect the food that would have previously been thrown away to give to their hungry children.  I will continue to fight for Texas children, especially those most vulnerable.

Steel City Pops opened at the end of June and is one of the new businesses at 812 S. Alamo Street (behind Credit Human).  Originally started in 2012 by Alabama native Jim Watkins, the business is still family-owned and branched out to Texas.  A new King William neighbor, Ben Cleveland, is the General Manager.  Ben is from Alabama but married to a San Antonio native, so moving here was an easy decision. 


In 1986 the King William Association announced in its newsletter that it wanted to mark its 20th anniversary with house address signs which included “Est. 1967.”  The original oval plaques were designed and custom made by KWA member Bob Bradley using wood and silkscreen printing.

The design and material has changed over the years as different contractors were selected.  The “Est. 1967” remains on the plaque to remind all of our Association’s beginnings.  The KWA currently has plaques available for $60 if you would like to purchase one for your home. 

- Cherise Bell

Hooray for another great July 4th Regatta in King William!  The Regatta is organized by the near-mythical King William Yacht Club for the happy purpose of enjoying our neighbors and our neighborhood by cruising our portion of the San Antonio River.  The canoe and kayak races kicked off the festivities, but just-for-fun paddlers were the heart of the celebration.  Mike Casey was the only original KW Yacht Club member who participated in the paddling this year.  Mike brought his singular style and grace to the canoe he shared with new neighbor Monica.  

I’m looking forward to an extraordinarily long Fourth of July holiday this year.  Thanks to the happy news on the calendar, I see it occurs on a Tuesday.  I’ll do what millions of my countrymen will do and take Monday off, stretching this to a four-day escape from the cares of business as usual. 

If Memorial Day was any predictor, I’d like to be on the back porch with a cup of coffee or glass of wine (depending on the hour), savoring the sight of a tropical downpour cascading through the pecan trees.

At the March 5, 2014 membership meeting, revised bylaws were presented and approved with exceptions.  The exceptions caused duplications and duplicate numbering to occur.  Brad Shaw, Parliamentarian, has renumbered the bylaws and will be presenting the corrected bylaws at the August 2, 2017 KWA General Membership meeting. 

According to the KWA Bylaws ARTICLE X11 AMENDMENTS:

These By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the active members present and voting at any general meeting of the Association where a quorum is present, provided that the proposed amendment has been presented in writing by the Parliamentarian to the general membership at least two weeks prior to voting. 

If you wish to see the renumbered bylaws prior to the member meeting, please come to the KWA office or go the KWA member portal on our website at

- Cherise Bell


You may or may not have noticed that residential water rates have inched upward.  To conserve water and save on your water bill, SAWS customers can apply through October 31, 2017, for coupons worth up to $800 to help replace lawn grass with drought-tolerant garden beds and/or permeable patios.  For details, check the SAWS newsletter that comes with your water bill or go to  

The groundbreaking for the Linda Pace Foundation’s new structure, conceived by its founder Linda Pace (1945-2007) and designed by acclaimed architect Sir David Adjaye, took place on May 31 at 150 Camp Street off of S. Flores Street.  The modern crimson-hued building will house the Foundation’s growing collection of more than 800 paintings, sculptures, installations and video works by contemporary artists from around the world.  The $16 million project, which includes a 14,000-square-foot, two-story building, is privately funded by the Linda Pace Foundation.  In addition to Adjaye Associates as the design architects, the local teams that are working on the building project include Alamo Architects.

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!

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