KWA Newsletter Articles

Villa Finale: Museum & Gardens, the final home of local preservationist Walter Nold Mathis and the only National Trust for Historic Preservation site in Texas, recently became the recipient of a generous grant from the King William Association.  This grant helps to ensure that Villa Finale’s educational series for children and families continues to thrive. 

The application deadlines to participate in the 51st King William Fair are fast approaching.  Applications are currently being accepted online for the vendor, entertainer and parade opportunities listed below.  Visit our website for more details: kwfair.org. 

Application Deadline 

  • Art & Craft Vendors, December 15, 2017
  • Entertainers, December 15, 2017
  • Food Vendors, February 2, 2018
  • Parade Participants, February 7, 2018
  • Kids Kingdom Vendors February 7, 2018

The City of San Antonio is proposing an ordinance to help regulate the use of homes as short-term rentals (STRs), often known as Air BnBs or Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO).  The purpose of this ordinance is to “establish regulations for the protection of the health and safety of occupant(s) of short term rental properties and to protect the integrity of the neighborhoods in which short term rental properties operate.” The city formed a 25-person task force in May, 2017 to evaluate the proposed ordinance and to make recommendations.  The city task force is comprised of short-term rental owners, concerned citizens and neighborhood association representatives. The King William Association has a representative on the city-wide task force and also formed a neighborhood task force to look at parts of the ordinance that were of particularly interest to the neighborhood and to make recommendations to the King William Association Board of Directors. 

Pointsettias have begun to appear for sale.  They provide color for the holidays and for a time after.  Crotons are another plant to consider for indoor color over the winter and beyond. They can last for many years and with warm weather can be put outside in filtered light.  Each leaf has a variety of colors ranging from yellow, to red and orange.  Inside they require bright light and well-drained soil.  Fertilize about every 2 weeks with a liquid organic fertilizer.  Occasional misting of the leaves will help maintain their vitality.  Small Norfolk Island pine trees are readily available this time of year and when decorated with small ornaments make a good holiday decoration.  When kept in a bright window it will last many years.

Four artists with four very different means of expression show their work until December 17 at the San Antonio Art League.  Sallie Stanley Carter’s contemporary portraits, Dona LeCrone Walston’s interpretations of mountains and water, and energetic octogenarian Lee Ricks’ glowing transparent watercolors offer something for every art lover.  But fiber artists Rachel Edwards Ridder gets special attention for her unusual creations, something you don’t see in every gallery.

Like Lee Ricks, Ridder is in her 80s, but you wouldn’t guess it by looking at her quirky, contemporary take on non-traditional materials and construction.  One of her 3-D assemblages features two stiletto-heeled shoes embellished with, among other things, orange metal cartridge casings that once held the nails used to build her studio. 

You may have noticed the new landscaping at the former Monterey restaurant (1127 S. St. Mary’s St.), which closed in 2015. The location was rebranded this year as The Monty with the Ivy Hall and Gardens, the “container house” that sits behind and beside the former restaurant.  The L-shaped property for the container house (1119 S. St. Mary’s St.) backs up to houses on Cedar Street. 

Together, these two properties are zoned IDZ with uses permitted by C-2 and MF-25 zoning.  Amplified sound is permitted under C-2, which is a form of commercial zoning.  MF-25 allows multi-family housing with a maximum density of 14 units per acre.

Blue Star Contemporary fulfills our mission to inspire, nurture, and innovate through contemporary art in part through our MOSAIC Student Artist Program, led by renowned muralist and our Artist-in-Residence Alex Rubio.  Students are mentored five days a week, after school and during summers, for an intensive, year-round, arts education.  Students participate in BSC’s programs and also attend workshops, lectures and exhibitions at local cultural institutions and artist studios to gain further exposure to the city’s artistic landscape.

Student exhibitions and public art projects, which include a large hand-made mosaic mural at H-E-B’s East Side location and the River Walk’s Compass Rose designating the city’s geographic center, become part of San Antonio and its vibrant and rich visual culture.

This article is inspired by past issues of the King Association newsletter, beginning in November 1967.  Its purpose is to inform newer neighbors and remind those who have been here awhile of how the King William Area has evolved through the years.

References and comments are from those issues containing “news” items that seem, to this writer, to show the development of the King William neighborhood or merely to show how some things are unique to an historic district. The series starts with comments taken from the November 1967 newsletter about the first King William Association meeting held in October 1967.  Articles will continue, but will not in every issue of the newsletter. 

DECEMBER 1972 - The King William Home Tour and Fair were held jointly.  The Tour netted $394.74, and the Fair $378.00.

SEPTEMBER 1973 - King William Association dues were raised to $3.00 to balance the newsletter mailing budget.  The San Antonio River Authority began design work for flood control improvements between Johnson and Nueva Streets.  

Julius Joske brought his family from Germany to San Antonio in 1873 and started a mercantile store near Alamo Plaza, which he named J. Joske.  By the 1970s, his chain of department stores had become Joske’s of Texas.  His store in San Antonio was perhaps the most popular store in the city.

In 1892, Julius’s son, Alexander, bought the property at 241 King William for $9,000.  There was a stone house on the site built by Thomas Wren

Albert Steves built his new home at 504 King William Street in 1883 just in time for his marriage to Fanny Baetz.  The Alfred Giles designed house, built at a cost of $9,625, was located directly across the street from his parents, Edward and Johanna Steves.  Albert was associated with his father and brother in the lumber business.  Over the years, Albert Steves held many important positions in the city of San Antonio – mayor and vice president of two different banks. 

It is with mixed emotions that I announce that our Executive Director, Cherise Bell, has decided to leave the King William Association to take on a new position where she will continue her passion for preservation and restoration.  

Cherise was the KWA’s first ED when she was hired in May 2012.  She has done a remarkable job over the last five years taking a wholly volunteer organization and transforming it into a truly professionally-run nonprofit.  She professionalized the organization’s procedures, operations, membership interaction, and community and government relations.

Our hands make us human.  We are different, for both good and bad, from all the other living things on our Earth, because of what we can do with our hands.  True, our simian brethren can make and use simple tools, but I doubt the average silverback gorilla is going to engrave treasury notes or sculpt the next David. 

The difference lies in our ability to do very fine work emphasizing highly sensitive control of pressure applied by our fingers and the ability to grasp and manipulate very small objects like engraving tools, bobbins and thread for lace making, rosin-coated bows and micro-surgical tools.

On October 6, several neighbors joined our plant swap, bringing an abundance of at least 30 different types of plants to share with fellow plant lovers. Thanks to everyone's generosity,  we were able to leave several in front of the KWA office with a "Free Plants" sign.  They were all gone by the next morning. Our next event is planned for spring, so stay tuned for details.

 - Angela Martinez 

To celebrate the King William Association’s 50th anniversary, two Christmas ornaments were created.  The ceramic ornament is from a Caroline Shelton 1977 watercolor print and costs $10.  The metal ornament was designed by Mike Schroeder using a window hood from 323 Adams Street and costs $20.  

Come by the King William office to purchase.  Your support is appreciated!

Dear King William Friends,

Hopefully everyone is enjoying the cooler weather.  It’s always a great time to be in San Antonio as the summer heat gives way to the arrival of fall and its mild temperatures.  For many, this change in weather allows folks to enjoy the outdoors and take care of projects that were delayed until triple-digit temperatures became a distant memory. 

In 2014, KWA staff contacted the City’s office of Transportation and Capital Improvements to discuss how to get the streets repaired in the “Fair Zone” so that they would be in excellent shape for the 50th Fair.  Staff met with City representatives several times to discuss the issues.  

In 2015, staff again met with City representatives and drove around King William streets with them to discuss drainage and road conditions.  The city agreed that the streets needed to be fixed.  A formal letter was written and the KWA president met with Councilman Treviño to present the facts regarding the condition of the streets, drainage issues, that it has been decades since the streets were repaired; additionally, King William is a highly visited tourist destination, and the condition of our streets should be improved to reflect that.  

A new District 1 Zoning Commissioner, Sophia Lopez, has been named by Councilman Treviño.  She may be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The countdown to our 2018 King William Fair is on (less than six months to go!) and applications are currently being accepted online for the vendor, entertainer and parade opportunities listed below.  Visit our website for more details at kwfair.org.  

Application Deadline 

  • Art & Craft Vendors, December 15, 2017
  • Entertainers, December 15, 2017
  • Food Vendors, February 2, 2018
  • Parade Participants, February 7, 2018
  • Kids Kingdom Vendors, February 7, 2018

- Syeira Budd, Fair Manager