Office of Historic Preservation
Phone: (210) 215-9274
Register now for the upcoming guided tour of downtown San Antonio's historic sites and haunted places! This tour will focus on downtown history and architecture and the haunted stories and sightings of our historic city. Tour will begin at the Gazebo in Alamo Plaza. Participants should arrive for check-in at 5:30pm. Participants will be divided into walking and running groups based on preference. Registration is $15 and includes an official OHP t-shirt. Register online at www.active.com (keyword "Go! Historic") or by sending in a registration form (available at the link below). You may also register in person at the event. Please note that there is an additional fee for online registration. Hope to see you there!
Save the date for two exciting events on November 7th: Why and How to Preserve Wood Windows and Reception and Conversation with Vince Michael. We are very pleased to bring Vince Michael, Director of the Global Heritage Fund to San Antonio to talk about historic preservation.
From 3:00 - 5:00 pm, Vince Michael and Victor Salas, owner of Artchitectural Interiors, will provide a workshop on preserving wood windows. Cost for the window workshop is $25 ($10 for students). Following the workshop from 5:00 - 7:00 pm, there will be a reception and conversation with Vince Michael on The How and Why of Preservation. The reception is free and open to the public. Both events will take place at Brooks City Base, Bldg. 150 (2510 Kennedy Circle). For more information, contact Edward Hall at 207-4680. Hope you can join us!
What does historic designation mean to you and your property? The Office of Historic Preservation recently hosted three community workshops to explain and discuss the process and impact of historic designation. The community posed many questions about historic district designation at the September meeting, and OHP staff has responded to these inquiries at the link below. Questions and answers from the October meetings will be addressed shortly and will be available here soon. If you have additional questions or comments, please call 207-3327 or 207-0241.
Meetings were held on: September 17, October 4, and October 15
Community Questions-OHP Responses - Review OHP responses to the questions from the community meeting on Sept. 17
The 6th annual Historic Homeowner Fair on Saturday, September 27, at the Pearl Full Goods Studio & Breezeway was another great success this year with over 450 participants. Thank you to all of our sponsors, exhibitors, presenters, demonstrators, and volunteers - we couldn't have done it without you! This year's fair provided information on a wide variety of topics related to historic homes. Check out the presentations from the Fair at the links below. Thank you again to everyone who helped to make this such a success!
Join archaeology scholars, professionals, and practitioners, with sponsorship from the Witte Museum, Brackenridge Park Conservancy, and the City of San Antonio Office of Historic Preservation, for a symposium on recent Texas archaeological fieldwork. Sites include several adjacent to the San Antonio River. Sessions will explore the Protohistoric/Historic Indian, Spanish Colonial, and Industrial-Historic time periods. Symposium is on Saturday, October, 11, from 8:00 am - 12:00 pm at the Witte Museum, 3891 Broadway. Admission is $10.00. See the flyer below for the complete list of presentations.
Don't know what you have, but have been dying to know? Now's your chance! Have that artifact identified (including prehistoric and historic artifacts)! Join us at the Witte Museum on Saturday, October 11, from 12:00 - 4:00 pm. $10 general museum and event admission. Bring in those artifacts that you've always wondered about and find out what they are!
Join the Office of Historic Preservation and the National Park Service as we celebrate Archaeology Day at Mission San Jose on Saturday, October 18, from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. Activities for kids include painted pebbles, flint knapping, corn grinding, adobe brick making, ancient writing, spear throwing, rock art wall, a weaving demonstration, and more! The event is free and open to the public. Come spend Archaeology Day at one of San Antonio's most historic sites. See you there!
Catch the episode of Great Day SA from Kens 5 Eyewitness News at the link below as the Director of the Office of Historic Preservation highlights the history and architecture of historic Houston Street!
The OHP offers a series of Go! Historic SA Guided Running and Walking Tours throughout the year highlighting historic neighborhoods and places across the city. Small groups of walkers or runners led by experienced tour guides learn about San Antonio's diverse history and culture. Tours are $15 and include a "Know This Place?" t-shirt. See the schedule below for our upcoming tour dates.
May was Preservation Month, sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation! This year's theme was New Age of Preservation: Embark, Inspire, Engage. The Office of Historic Preservation had a full month of events to highlight and encourage preservation throughout May. Click on the link below to view all of our Preservation Month initiatives.
Preservation Month Page - for more details on all of our events!
Lerma's Nite Club, at 1602-1612 N. Zarzamora St. in San Antonio, was included in the Preservation Texas 2014 Most Endangered Places List at the Preservation Summit on May 20. The list includes "sites that are cultural, architectural and historic icons that are at imminent risk of disappearing from the landscape," said the executive director of Preservation Texas, Evan Thompson. By including properties on the Endangered List, Preservation Texas hopes to "rally Texans statewide to step up and save them."
Lerma's Nite Club was a long-standing conjunto music venue on San Antonio's Westside featuring such musicians as Eva Ybarra, Bene Medina, Santiago Jimenez, among countless others. Currently closed, the building is owned by the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, who are raising funds for much needed restoration.
A new study from the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) demonstrates that blocks of older, smaller buildings all across the United States are contributing to "robust local economies and distinctive livable communities." The study compares three major American cities (Seattle, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.) and demonstrates that "neighborhoods with a mix of older, smaller buildings perform better than districts with larger, newer structures when tested against a range of economic, social, and environmental outcome measures." Check out the links below for more information.
Get the latest Know this Place? t-shirt today! The OHP is offering the second in a new series of Know This Place? t-shirts highlighting historic sites in San Antonio. This new t-shirt, featuring the beautiful Old Lone Star Brewery (now SAMA), is only available while supplies last. Get it while it’s here! Look out for future designs in the Know This Place? t-shirt series coming later. T-shirts are $15.00. Contact the OHP at 215-9274 for information or to purchase yours today.
Office of Historic Preservation has partnered with
the Westside Preservation Alliance (WPA), the
Esperanza Peace and
A Kick-Off Event was held in February 2011. A Westside Potential Landmarks Meeting was held on August 13, 2012, to solicit community feedback. Many of the properties identified during the survey have been recommended eligible for local landmark designation. A meeting for owners of these properties was held on December 11, 2012. We are pleased to announce that twenty two (22) of the properties representing Phase I of the landmark initiative were designated as local historic landmarks by City Council on March 21, 2013. See the Phase I designated landmark list below.
Phase II of the landmark initiative began with a public meeting for property owners on September 10, 2013. The presentation from the meeting is available at the link below. Twenty five (25) properties were recommended eligible for landmark designation by the HDRC on November 20, 2013. Twenty three (23) of the properties were approved by the Zoning Commission on May 20, 2014, for landmark designation and will be reviewed by City Council for final approval on June 19, 2014. See the list of Phase II properties at the link below.
For additional information about the Westside Cultural Resource Survey and the Westside potential landmarks, please contact Elizabeth Porterfield (207-3327) or Nicholas Fuqua (207-0066).
The San Antonio Conservation Society will honor the winners of it biannual Historic Preservation Awards for the Built Environment and its Texas Preservation Hero Awards at a dinner and awards ceremony on Thursday, March 27, from 6:00-9:00 pm at the Briscoe Western Art Museum. Click on the link below for a full list of award winners. Event is $90 per person and includes cocktails and a full-course dinner. Advance reservations and payment are required by March 20th. Contact the San Antonio Conservation Society at 224-6163 or email@example.com to RSVP.
Using the proceeds from its 2013 presentation of "A Night In Old San Antonio®" (NIOSA®), the San Antonio Conservation Society (SACS) is awarding $93,000 in grants to 12 historic preservation projects that fulfill its purpose to "preserve and to encourage the preservation of historic buildings, objects, places and customs relating to the history of Texas, its natural beauty and all that is admirably distinctive to our State." Since 2000 alone, the Society’s grants program has awarded more than $1.5 million dollars to individuals and organizations for rehabilitation, restoration, and educational programs related to historic preservation. For the complete list of 2013 recipients, please click on the link below.
The Center for Cultural Sustainability through the U.T.S.A. College of Architecture has produced an informative resource guide on energy retrofits for historic homes in hot, humid climates. The guide provides helpful information to homeowners about cost-effective improvements that will lower energy use while retaining the cultural heritage and integrity of their historic houses. Download a copy of the guide at the link below. For more information visit the Center for Cultural Sustainability website.
The National Preservation Institute, a nonprofit organization founded in 1980, educates those involved in the management, preservation, and stewardship of cultural heritage. The 2013-2014 National Preservation Institute seminar schedule is available online at www.npi.org. The 2013-2014 NPI News Release includes the calendar and seminar descriptions.
An amendment to the policy for the creation of local historic districts (UDC Chapter 35, Article VI Historic Preservation and Urban Design, Division 2 Historic Preservation, Section 35-605) was approved by City Council on December 6, 2012. The amendment fosters greater neighborhood participation and requires property owners to demonstrate sufficient support for district designation prior to starting the public hearing process. For more detailed information on the approved amendment to the historic district creation process, please see the link below.
Mahncke Park is an urban neighborhood largely composed of 1920s bungalows by developer H.C. Thorman. Although currently a Neighborhood Conservation District (NCD), a portion of Mahncke Park expressed interest in becoming a local historic district. Signature forms from over 30% of properties within the proposed district boundary were submitted and verified by OHP staff, and a public meeting with property owners was held on April 29, 2014 (see the presentation at the link below). The historic district designation process was initiated with review by the Historic and Design Review Commission (HDRC) on June 4, 2014. The recommendation made at the HDRC meeting was to postpone consideration of the proposed historic district designation until October 1 and for OHP staff to provide three (3) public information meetings to property owners within the ensuing months.
However, as of July 30, the percentage of properties in support of historic district designation was 23%, which was insufficient for the process to move forward. Therefore, the proposed district will not be scheduled for consideration by the HDRC on Oct. 1. The OHP will continue with plans to host workshops to clarify information and to answer questions regarding historic designation even though these meetings are not associated with a pending HDRC case. A schedule of meetings will be announced shortly.
Please see the additional links below for the proposed district boundary map with (votes received in support and opposition of district designation as of the HDRC meeting on June 4) and a map of the entire neighborhood (Mahncke Park Resource Map) showing properties that have been identified as contributing and non-contributing to a potential district. For more information, please contact Elizabeth Porterfield at 207-3327 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Alta Vista neighborhood, currently a Neighborhood Conservation District, is considering potential historic district designation. This early 20th-century neighborhood is located west of San Pedro and includes a variety of historic housing types such as Craftsman bungalows and Classical Revival style homes. The presentation given to the neighborhood association by the Office of Historic Preservation is available to view below. For more information, please contact Elizabeth Porterfield at 207-3327.
Highland Park is an early 20th-century neighborhood on the city's near southeast side that has been determined to be eligible for local historic district designation. OHP staff presented information at the Highland Park Neighborhood Association meetings on March 14th and June 13th about the history of the neighborhood and what it would mean if the neighborhood decides to pursue historic district designation. The Highland Park presentation is available at the link below. For more information, please contact Elizabeth Porterfield at 207-3327.
Take a self-guided tour through historic Travis Park! The Office of Historic Preservation has completed a walking tour brochure of Travis Park and the surrounding historic buildings (including some of those that are no longer standing!). Spend some time in this urban green space and learn about the history of St. Mark's Episcopal Church and the St. Anthony Hotel.
San Antonio River Walk is a nationally recognized tourist attraction and
one of the country’s most unique urban linear parks.
An initial concept for
beautification and commercial development of the
In recognition of R. H. H. Hugman’s important role in the development of the River Walk, the City has installed commemorative plaques at original Hugman features. The bronze plaques replicate the architectural seal used on Hugman’s original drawings.
Hugman Riverwalk Smartphone Tour
highlighting 12 key Hugman features is available. We
invite you to explore our River Walk using this Historic Hugman River
Walk Tour complete with text by renowned
The San Antonio Conservation Society
offers a self-guided Texas Star Trail
Downtown Walking Tour of
Historic sites are identified with a Texas Star medallion in the sidewalk in front of each structure. Smaller medallion markers in the sidewalk connect the sites along the 2.6 mile length. The Texas Star Trail brochure is available at the San Antonio Conservation Society’s headquarters at 107 King William Street, at the San Antonio Visitor Center at 317 Alamo Plaza, at the Office of Historic Preservation, and at the link below. Take a tour through downtown on the Texas Star Trail to discover our city's rich history!
Explore downtown Houston Street and learn about the architecture and history of this significant commercial corridor through a series of interpretive kiosks. Former public telephone kiosks have been adaptively reused by the City's Downtown Operations Department and the Office of Historic Preservation, in partnership with the General Services Administration Good Neighbor Program. The eight kiosks between N. Alamo and N. Santa Rosa Streets feature interpretive panels highlighting many of the historic structures along Houston Street.
Downtown Houston Street contains many examples of
Neighborhood discovery tours are available online! The tours feature Downtown North River, the Westside, and the Eastside. Each tour includes restaurants, arts and culture, people, historic sites and landmarks, and local shops in the neighborhood. This is a great opportunity to explore San Antonio’s rich cultural heritage throughout the city. The tours are free of charge and available to download or view online at www.saculturaltours.com.
The Steves Homestead and Villa Finale have forged a joint collaboration! Visitors can purchase a combo ticket and enjoy self-guided tours of both the historic Steves Homestead and Villa Final for one special price. The Steves Homestead, at 509 King William Street, was constructed in 1876 for Edward Steves, founder of San Antonio's first lumber company. The house, now operated by the San Antonio Conservation Society, is a museum with furnishings, fixtures, and decor highlighting San Antonio in the late 19th century. Villa Finale, one block north at 401 King William Street, was originally constructed in 1876 and underwent several additions by 1906. It was purchased and restored by Walter Nold Mathis is the late 1960s. Today, the museum features a magnificent collection of Mr. Mathis's decorative arts and furniture. The special combo tour tickets can be purchased for $12 at either site. For more information see the flyer below or contact the San Antonio Conservation Society (www.saconservation.org) or Villa Finale (www.villafinale.org).