Office of Historic Preservation
Phone: (210) 215-9274
Uptown is the old name for an area along Fredericksburg Road,
now within the Beacon Hill Neighborhood Conservation District,
near St. Ann’s Church and immediately southeast of the IH-10
West–Fredericksburg Road intersection.
The unusual two story stucco building with an elaborately decorated corner entry at the northwest corner of Fredericksburg Rd and W. Ashby Place was designed by the architectural firm of Adams and Adams in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, with a foyer described as Moroccan. Designed as one of numerous theaters built by Victor Theater Inc. in San Antonio, it was called the Uptown Theater and opened in August, 1928. The decoration surrounding the corner entry was partially obscured by the later addition of a marquee as shown in a 1945 photo. The marquee and the Uptown sign have since been removed. The theater building was purchased by St. Ann’s Parish (located around the corner on St. Ann Street) in 1960 to be used as a gymnasium, youth center and center for religious instruction classes. The architectural firm of Adams and Adams is perhaps best known for the design of Thomas Jefferson High School in 1930-1932, also in the Spanish Colonial Revival style.
Architects Eichenroht and Cocke designed the two commercial buildings adjacent to the theater in 1930, with similar stucco facades. Hemley Furniture Store was to be one of the original lessees. Marvin Eickenroth and Bartlett Cocke were partners from 1927 until 1931 when Mr. Eickenroth became a sole practitioner.
Uptown Theater, 1945. The Zintgraff Collection, UTSA’s Institute of Texan Cultures, #Z-2647-O-1, Courtesy of John and Dela White.
At 708 Fredericksburg Road across from the old Uptown Theater, is a one story commercial building designed by Albaugh and Steinbaugh. Constructed to accommodate six retail spaces, the multiple arched entrances are flanked by twisted cast-stone columns, and a decorative tile wainscoting extends along the façade beneath the store windows. A special feature was a garden located behind the stores in which customers could take refreshments. A July 17, 1927, San Antonio Express News article states construction was to begin in ten days. The widening of Fredericksburg Road from two to four lanes has left this building and its neighbor with a very narrow front walkway.
The neighboring Seidemann Building at 720 Fredericksburg
Road, similar in size and also built for retail businesses, was
designed by Morris, Noonan and Wilson, architects and engineers.
Two of the lessees, Beacon Hill Bakery and Aylett Drug Co.,
held a grand opening July 18, 1925. A newspaper article at the
time congratulated the owners for pioneering this development on
Close by at 115 Michigan, is another similar building that
has been restored, with a white stucco exterior and a red tile
roof. The collection of buildings provides a unity of
style around the little park. The park is called the Liz Davies
Greenspace and was planted by the owners of 1241 W. French
Place. It is dedicated to Liz Davies, the first president
of the Beacon Hill Neighborhood Association and a former San
Antonio Conservation Society President.