The Monte Vista Historic District is located slightly north of downtown San Antonio and is roughly bounded by San Pedro, Hildebrand, McCullough, Shook and Ashby. The neighborhood is characterized by distinguished residential architecture from the early 20th century including Classical Revival, Tudor, Spanish Eclectic, Queen Anne, and Craftsman style houses.
During San Antonio’s "Gilded Age," from approximately 1890 to 1930, several opulent suburbs developed including Monte Vista. The variety of architectural styles within the area reflects a booming period in San Antonio’s history before the Great Depression. Leading San Antonio architects such as Alfred Giles, Harvey Young, James Riely Gordon, and Atlee B. Ayres designed palatial homes in Monte Vista for some of San Antonio’s leading citizens in the 1910s. The eight-story Bushnell Apartments on Shook Avenue provided luxury living for several decades, and many Texas cattle baron constructed estates within the neighborhood along Kings Highway. Other streets included more modest dwellings, and the resulting variety of housing stock was at least partially responsible for the resilience of Monte Vista during the latter part of the twentieth century.
Facing deterioration and developmental intrusion, neighborhood residents formed the Monte Vista Historical Association in 1973 to preserve the community. Monte Vista was designated a local historic district in 1975, and the historical association sought "to encourage the preservation of the distinctive heritage of the Monte Vista area; to keep the physical identity of this late nineteenth-early twentieth century district intact; and to educate the public, especially the youth, with the knowledge of our inherited neighborhood values which contribute to a wholesome urban environment." The Monte Vista neighborhood was designated a National Register Historic District in 1998.
Excerpted from Donald E. Everett, "Monte Vista: The Gilded Age of an Historic District, 1890-1930" (Supplement, North San Antonio Times, January 29, 1988). Available from the Monte Vista Historical Association website at