Office of Historic Preservation
Phone: (210) 215-9274
The boundaries of this area of Highland Park are formed by Highway 10 to the north, Highland Boulevard to the south, and New Braunfels Avenue on the east and Clark Avenue on the west edges. The elevation is relatively high affording cooling breezes and pleasant views which were considered in the initial purchase and development of this suburban area.
Prior to Highland Park’s development as a residential area, the 780 acres were owned by Albert Steves Jr. who made the land available to local dairy farmers as pasture land. The land, referred to at this time as "the old Steve pasture," was purchased in 1909 by L.P. Peck, Benno Kayton, W.C. Rigsby, Ben Hammond, Charles Peterson, and A.M Avant. They formed the Highland Park Improvement Company with an original plan for each investor to build a large house on a street named for himself. Charles Peterson elected to forgo a street in his name, which resulted in Highland Park Boulevard and the main thoroughfare through this suburban area.
Park was a planned community with utilities placed in the alleys
and upper-middle class homeowners in mind. Deed
restrictions were set very high to protect land and property
values. Key to the development of what was then the
largest suburb in San Antonio was the new trolley line to
facilitate commuting to downtown. The No. 10 Line passed through
Highland Park via Rigsby Avenue ending at Adele Street until
1933 when the trolley was replaced by bus service. Better
educational facilities were also advertised as one of the
advantages of this area. Records show Highland Park plats
for the years 1909, 1913, 1917, and 1921. The current
population density of this neighborhood was reached between WW I
and WW II.
Goldbeck was a world-renowned panoramic photographer. In the 1930s he operated his National Photo Service company from his home and studio. The Asian-influenced bungalow on Rigsby is an outstanding example of Japanese-influenced architectural detailing applied to a traditional bungalow form, and one of only a small number existing within the city. Both Goldbeck’s home and the Asian bungalow-influenced have seen better days bur are still impressive structures. The Goldbeck studio, located behind the Goldbeck home, is in serious disrepair.