Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Blue Star Street Industrial Historic District
The National Register of Historic Places-listed Blue Star Street Industrial Historic District represents a unique example of an early twentieth century terminal railway facility. The complex includes four warehouses constructed between 1917 and 1934 on land owned by the San Antonio Belt and Terminal Railway Company. The warehouses stored goods for transport on the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (M-K-T or Katy) Railroad spur in the area. The facility is unique in that the railroad owned the property and leased it to various tenants who built and modified the warehouses on site over the years. Other warehouse facilities in San Antonio were typically owned by the associated business that then entered into an agreement with a particular railroad to construct a spur to their facility. It is also significant in that it was constructed during a period of concentrated industrial and railroad development in San Antonio when the city became a major regional processing and transportation hub. As a result, it represents the types of industrial development common in the community during the early twentieth century (Pheiffer 1993).
The complex housed numerous types of businesses during its tenure of operation including meat packing and food wholesale suppliers, ice and cold storage companies, chemical production companies, and manufacturing outfits such as the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company. It continued to operate into the 1970s until it was purchased by developers in 1985 and converted into a mixed-use residential and commercial complex including art galleries, lofts, and work spaces for artists. The complex is still in use for these purposes today and is open for public access. For more information about the history of the property, including its adaptive reuse and visitor information, see the King William Cultural Arts District Website.
Pheiffer, Maria Watson (Consultant)
1993 - National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, “Blue Star Street Industrial Historic District,” Copy on file at the Texas Historical Commission, Austin, Texas.