Olmos Park Terrace is an early twentieth-century subdivision located north of downtown. The district is bounded by Lovera, San Pedro, Hermosa and Thorain Boulevards, Belknap, Howard Street, and McCullough. The area was originally platted in 1931 by the Northside Improvement Company, with developer H.C. Thorman as president. Homes were offered for sale at a starting price of $3,600. Due to the stock market crash of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression, initial construction was slow. Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps indicate that in 1935 only four streets were developed. By 1938, the remaining four streets were included in the map index. According to Thorman’s nephew, many of the streets were named by H.C. Thorman with variations of the developer’s own name. By 1937, plans were developed to build an additional 100 houses in Olmos Park Terrace.
The architecture in the district consists primarily of English stone cottages and minimal traditional style homes. All the houses developed by H.C. Thorman were constructed of stone veneer over reinforced concrete with attached garages.
Developer Herman Charles (H.C.) Thorman was born November 26, 1884, in Toledo, Ohio to German immigrant parents. Before moving to San Antonio, Thorman worked as a carpenter, builder, and later a contractor in Toledo. He began his career as a builder in San Antonio in 1907. According to a 1922 newspaper article, Thorman developed more than 750 dwellings in fourteen years, averaging 20 to 40 houses a year. Some of the neighborhoods developed by Thorman include Olmos Park, Park Hill Estates, Country Club Place, and West Ashby Street in today’s Tobin Hill.
Olmos Park Terrace was designated a local historic district in two phases through City Council approval in 2007 and 2008.