Greenlawn Estates Historic District

Office

Physical Address
Development and Business Services Center
1901 S. Alamo 
San Antonio, TX 78204

Phone
210.207.0035

Fax
210.207.0199

Hours 
Monday - Friday, 7:45am - 4:30pm

Leadership

            

The Greenlawn Estates Historic District includes the residential structures on Greenlawn Drive. The Greenlawn Estates neighborhood is a small area located in northwest San Antonio in the Los Angeles Heights Neighborhood. The neighborhood was first developed in the 1920s and includes excellent examples of Tudor Revival, Ranch, and Minimal Traditional style homes. The size and scale of the properties in the neighborhood range from modest to grand, and the dates of construction of the properties range from 1922 through 2017. The differing ages in properties along the street are knitted together by uniform landscape features including very large lots, front lawns with berms, and significant setbacks of over 30 feet. Building materials of the earlier constructed properties include stone, brick, and wood, and the newer properties use wood and synthetic materials. The neighborhood is outside the original 36 square miles of San Antonio. The development pattern represents a departure from the streetcar suburbs that were booming in San Antonio in the 1920s.  Greenlawn Estates lots are relatively long an expansive – an ad in the San Antonio Light in 1927 boasts that the neighborhood is 15 minutes from Houston Street, and that lots are “four to six times the area of City Lots – beyond and overlooking the city,” enticing folks away from the typical urban lots within city limits and away from public transportation. Greenlawn Estates was herald as “country estates with city improvements,” pushing the “charm and luxury” of country living. Advertisements commented that the neighborhood is “just beyond the city limits” and that it features comfortably paved roads.  “Greenlawn Estates” is the name of the original plat for the block. The plat was subdivided in 1922 by Don Yates and included Greenlawn and Sherwood Drives. There were 98 large lots, available in two uniform sizes. Yates built one Tudor Revival home (150 Greenlawn), then sold Greenlawn Estates to developer Otto Klaus in 1927. Klaus built another Tudor Revival home (163 Greenlawn) and advertised heavily in the Express-News. Infill was slow, but by 1950, about 75% of the homes had been built. The eclectic collection of styles in this neighborhood reflects the slow growth of the neighborhood. Many of the later homes built in the Minimal Traditional style have character features that reveal a Tudor Revival influence, such as steep pitched multigabled roofs and massive chimneys. With the exception of one lot with new construction (the original home burned in the 1980s), the block is entirely intact. There are excellent examples of Tudor revival architecture in this neighborhood. Tudor revival architecture was prominent from 1890 to 1940; it was used for large portion of early 20th century suburban houses through the country.  The character defining features include a steeply pitched roof, usually side-gabled, a façade dominated by one or more prominent cross gables, decorative half-timbering, tall and narrow windows, and  massive chimneys.  Otto Klaus was a builder in San Antonio, honored as the builder for the Greenlawn Estates subdivision. He did both larger subdivisions and individual homes. In 1925, he had 11 homes under construction. He worked closely with H.C. Thorman, a prominent local builder responsible for several local plats and neighborhoods, such as East French Place and Olmos Park Terrace. Klaus’ business slogan was “Homes that satisfy.”  The architectural styles represented in the Greenlawn Estates Historic District include Tudor Revival, Minimal Traditional, Mission Revival, and Ranch style homes, with a few newly constructed homes.

City Council approved the establishment of the Greenlawn Estates Historic District in 2019 as the 31st local historic district in San Antonio!

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