Office of Historic Preservation
Surveys

Historic Resource Survey (Scout SA)

In 2002, the City of San Antonio Office of Historic Preservation, in conjunction with the San Antonio Conservation Society, initiated a survey to comprehensively identify the city’s historic resources. The survey area covers the original city limits as defined in 1856 and encompasses a land area of 36 square miles with an estimated 62,000 resources.

The purpose of survey is to proactively identify historically significant properties and areas to preserve the architectural and cultural heritage of San Antonio and assist in informing decisions regarding the demolition of previously non-inventoried historic resources. Identification and documentation of the city’s historic resources assists in maintaining the cultural and historical character that makes San Antonio unique. It provides for economic development potential, serves as an education tool for residents of the community, and provides a comprehensive "snapshot" of the city’s historic resources. 

Through the participation of over 120 volunteers, all buildings, structures, and objects currently inventoried have been photo-documented and recorded on survey inventory forms. Information about architectural style, year constructed, exterior materials, and alterations has been documented. Each resource has then been reviewed for its architectural integrity and has been assigned an integrity value of High, Medium, or Low.

Download the Survey Resource Packet and the Research Resource Checklist to learn a few survey fundamentals! 

The survey identifies buildings and districts that are eligible for historic designation. The survey is an ongoing project.

JOIN THE SURVEY

ScoutSA utilizes the Discovery App, a mobile web application that anyone with a smartphone or wireless device can access. While OHP staff will routinely host survey days and ScoutSA meetups, the service is intended to promote data crowd sourcing that any group or individual can initiate.

  • STEP 1: Follow the survey link on your smart phone or tablet and create a free username.

  • STEP 2: Select a property on your screen and record the places that are important to you. Make sure Location Services is activated on your device. You will then be prompted to answer a few questions and take a photo of your building, place, or thing.

Don't have a phone? No problem, we'd still love your help! Contact staff at info@sapreservation.com for details on how to get involved.

The map shown below consists of properties inventoried using the ScoutSA Discovery App. Click here to expand the view and start browsing inventoried properties.

Historic Farm and Ranch Surveys

Between 2003 and 2010, the Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) and the San Antonio Conservation Society (SACS) surveyed and researched 19th century vernacular properties that qualify as Historic Texas Farm and Ranch Complexes. Over 100 properties have been identified within the city limits and the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ). These extremely rare resources represent the last remaining visual vestiges of the earliest settlement of the city, county, and ETJ. Each year more and more of these precious resources are lost to development, vandalism, and deterioration.

An historic context for these farm and ranch complexes (used to evaluate individual properties) was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in May 2011. A number of individual farm and ranch properties have been nominated and listed on the National Register. Ten of the seventeen properties located within the city limits were designated as City of San Antonio local landmarks in 2008.These farm and ranch complexes are significant due to their age, their association with the founding families of the city, and their early construction techniques and use of indigenous materials.

Click here to visit the survey website!

Learn more about these historic complexes at the links below:

Gas Station Survey

The OHP and the San Antonio Conservation Society initiated a historic gas station survey in 2012 in response to the recent loss of several of these iconic structures.  The Conservation Society had previously undertaken a gas station survey in 1983, documenting those stations located within the 36-square mile city limits and built between 1915 and 1940.  The first step in the 2012 survey was to revisit the gas stations previously inventoried to determine if the structures were still standing and to get current photos and information about each building. Survey volunteers re-inventoried all of the nearly 400 gas stations first documented in 1983.  Many of the gas stations from the 1983 survey are gone, but a surprising number of the buildings  were still intact. 

As a result, more than three dozen properties were identified as eligible for local landmark designation. On May 3, OHP and the Conservation Society co-hosted a Preservation Month event titled “San Antonio or Bust: Historic Landscapes of the American Road Trip” celebrating the rich collection of historic roadside architecture in San Antonio, including these gas stations, and gathered feedback on the potentially eligible properties. Based on the community input, OHP is moving forward with a Finding of Historic Significance for the properties (see map below)


Mid-Century Modern (MCM) Survey

In partnership with the San Antonio Conservation Society, the OHP has undertaken a Mid-Century Modern (MCM) survey of properties built between 1945 and 1975. These mid-20th century resources are nearing or have exceeded 50 years of age and are becoming "historic" in their own right.

Mid-century modern architecture reflects the changing trends in building technology, materials, and aesthetics that developed in the post WWII decades. Clean lines and surfaces, minimal ornamentation, flat and irregular rooflines, plate glass windows, curtain wall construction, and decorative screens and accent walls are all elements commonly found in MCM architecture.

westside cultural resources survey

The Office of Historic Preservation has partnered with the Westside Preservation Alliance (WPA), the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, the Westside Development Corporation (WDC), the San Antonio Conservation Society, the Old Spanish Trail Centennial (OST 100), and other volunteers to launch a Westside Cultural Resource Survey. This is an ongoing initiative to identify, document, and protect places of cultural, historical, and architectural significance on the Westside of San Antonio. Working with our community partners, we have identified over 90 historic properties and potential districts that are significant to the Westside community (see Westside Potential Landmarks link below).

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. 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 three (23) of the properties representing Phase II were designated as local historic landmarks by City Council on July 19, 2014. Please see the Phase II designated landmark list below.

Future phases may include additional properties or districts. Due to the extensive input provided by the community to develop the list of westside potential landmarks, historic designation may be initiated by OHP to allow for additional public process should any of the potential landmarks become threatened with demolition.

For additional information about the Westside Cultural Resource Survey and the Westside potential landmarks, please contact Claudia Guerra (207-0241).