Office of Historic Preservation
Phone: (210) 215-9274
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 boundaries of the 36 square miles are roughly Hildebrand Avenue to the north, Rio Grande to the east, Division and Morrill Avenues to the south, and 24th and 19th Streets to the west (see map link below). The boundaries contain residences, commercial and industrial structures, and more than 20 major commercial corridors.
The purpose of the survey is to proactively identify historically significant properties and areas to preserve the architectural and cultural heritage of San Antonio and assist in preventing 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:
The survey identifies buildings and districts that are eligible for historic designation. A goal for the Office of Historic Preservation is to complete a database of all inventoried properties and to make this information available to the public. To date, approximately 50% of the survey area, or over 30,000 properties, have been inventoried. The survey is an ongoing project.
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.
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