KWA Newsletter Articles

As we begin the year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the King William Association (KWA), it is appropriate to pay tribute to those who worked tirelessly to assure the preservation and restoration of the neighborhood we know today.  By the time the first meeting of the KWA was held on October 4, 1967, residents had already been working for 20 years to protect the place many of their families had called home since the 1800s.  

Concerned about the decline of the neighborhood, residents formed the King William Area Conservation Association (KWACA) in March 1947.  The group included descendants of founding residents — the James, Groos, Steves, Pancoast and Guenther families — as well as more recent arrivals.  At a party in their honor, new residents Della Gething and her daughter Margaret suggested forming an organization to preserve the “unique charms and historic values of King William Street.” 

Read more: Celebrating Our 50th Birthday!

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the King William Association!  This is an accomplishment of which we should all be extremely proud!  We are one the oldest neighborhood associations and we should celebrate the accomplishments we have achieved over the past half century!

Our 50th year celebration was kicked off in December with the home tour and holiday fair.  Kudos to home tour and fair organizers for a job well done, even through terrible weather!   Unfortunately, we had heavy rain and cold weather on the day of the home tour.  Despite this, 273 people attended and we broke even. KWA had not held a combined home tour and fair since 1991.

Read more: President's Message: February 2017

The King William Fair will celebrate its 50th year in 2017!  We are looking for neighbors who grew up in King William, especially those still involved in the neighborhood.  Our theme and focus for the Parade and Fair is a celebration of the past 50 years.  We plan to honor those folks with an invitation to be our honored guests in the Parade.  

If you are one of those people or you know a family member, neighbor or friend who grew up in the neighborhood, please contact us at 210-271-3247 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Need some King William Fair merchandise?  Our online store is up at www.cafepress.com/kwfair. There is a mousepad with the perennial logo and lots of great 2016 collectibles, mugs, glasses, water bottles and beer steins.  Keep checking, as the 2017 collectibles will be added soon! 

- Zet Baer, Fair Manager

King William Fair Travel Mug

I was rummaging in my massively disorganized bookcases and a battered sketchbook fell out, and open, on the floor. It was the sketchbook I carried as a 21 year old art history student at the University of Siena. The page was dated February 22nd, the day of Carnevale, the Italian answer to Mardi Gras. On that long-ago night I was at the art student’s ball at the Palazzo Chigi-Saracini, the seat of Siena’s famous music school. I’d been trying to catch the eye of a reddish-blonde with almond shaped green eyes, to little avail. Most of the crowd was in the Palazzo’s grand ballroom, a rococo confection of crème and gilt plaster swirls and mirrored doors catching the flickering light of its enormous chandeliers. In the courtyard just outside was a clock set on a stone well head, about to play its part in the evening’s ritual of turning its hands back from midnight to postpone the arrival of the first day of Lent.

Read more: City Lights: February 2017

Believe it or not, warm weather is not far away and plants will soon be putting on their spring growth.  Valentine’s Day marks the time to start getting the garden ready for the next growing season.  

One of the most important things to do now is to trim evergreens and perennials that have grown too large or have frozen back.  Plants trimmed now will begin to put out new growth in early March, which is usually past the last damaging frost.  Firebush, lantana, thryalis, plumbago, shrimp, Phillippine violets and variegated ginger are popular perennials in many gardens that should be cut back to about 6 inches tall.  Large evergreen shrubs can be trimmed to desired size and shape.

Read more: Out in the Garden: February 2017

 

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. 

November 1967 issue – The first meeting of the King William Association was held in October 1967.  It was attended by people who cared very much for the future of the area and who were committed to the idea of getting together to accomplish that which no one could ever accomplish alone.  Individual dues were $2 a year and $5 for businesses or organizations.  Those joining by January 1, 1968, would be considered Charter Members of the Association.

December 1967 issue – The City Director of Planning made a presentation at the monthly meeting concerning what the addition of historic zoning would mean for property owners.  

Read more: Old News: February 2017

In October 2014, the King William Association and Lavaca Neighborhood Association created an ad hoc joint committee to secure a parking needs assessment from the City that would support solutions to our traffic-related problems.  These problems included, among other things, decreased visibility at intersections, blocked driveways and impaired first responder access.  Both KWA and LNA conducted surveys, held meetings and engaged in social media discussions.  Transportation issues were regularly addressed in the KWA newsletter while City staff worked with its outside engineering consultant to secure a study and recommendations.

Read more: Parking and Transportation Committee Report: February 2017

Brackenridge High School, at the southern edge of the King William neighborhood on Eagleland Drive, is 100 years old this year. Since the KWA will celebrate its 50th year in 2017, it seems appropriate to tell something about the school that has been a part of that history.

The original three story red brick building was replaced by the present structure in the 1970s, and the campus expanded to take in about five blocks of homes on the edge of the neighborhood. A picture of the original school building is shown in full article. It was designed by well-known architect Alfred Giles.

The school was named for George Washington Brackenridge, born in Warwich County, Indiana. At the end of the Civil War, Brackenridge moved to San Antonio where he started the San Antonio National Bank. In addition, he was president of the San Antonio Water Works, director of the...

Read more: Happy Birthday, Brack!

Photographer Al Rendon is photographing King William residences for our revision of Mary Burkholder’s book, The King William Area, to be published in 2017. He started taking pictures in November and will continue into spring 2017.

Different homes will be shot at different times of day to catch the best light. Also, some homes look better in the evening with exterior lights on, others are better in the full light of day, sometimes interior lights should be on or off. Automobiles need to be out of sight.

Mr. Rendon’s assistant will call to make an appointment before he photographs your property. He is an expert at making our historic homes look their best, so please try to “stage” your home as he suggests.

Most of the homes will be photographed after the Christmas season, but please contact Mr. Rendon at (210) 288-4900 or alrendon@ satx.rr.com if you would like your home photographed without holiday decorations.

Feel free to contact me at 224-9756 or jnmsimpson@hotmail. com if you have questions. Thank you for helping the committee with this project! - Jessie Simpson Burkholder Book Chair

We lost another long-time resident on October 14, when Karine Berghauser passed away after a short illness. Friends and neighbors recalled how vibrant, smart, generous and witty Karine was. Many described her as a connector of interesting people and beautiful things. She supported the arts, education and children, often connecting them to her world in ways startling and inspiring. In many ways, Karine embodied the best of King William.

Karine was born on September 29, 1954 in Wiesbaden, Germany, to Irmgard Berghauser and Gilbert Davila. The family moved to San Antonio in 1956. While in high school, Karine discovered music and acted on the stage. After graduating from Churchill High School in 1973, she performed at the Melodrama Theater in Hemisfair until moving on to study acting and modern dance at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. She later moved to Los Angeles and then New York where she performed in live theatre and film.

Karine returned to San Antonio after marrying Bart Nichols (an accomplished dentist and musician), and they settled in King William. Their daughter Sydney was born in 1983. Karine and Bart purchased the Albert Carl Moye House at 524 King William Street in 1986, where they lived for more than 20 years.

Karine was active in our community, hosting dinners remembered for their tasteful creativity and beautiful surroundings. She chaired the parade for several years, joining it with her own blend of wit and charm. Many remembered her “duchess themes” with great fondness.

But life wasn’t just fun and games for Karine. When Sydney was older, she went back to school, earning a doctor of psychology from Our Lady of the Lake University, where she later taught as an adjunct professor. Her dissertation focused on the resiliency of same-sex parented families. Karine also championed troubled youth by serving as a...

Read more: Karine Berghauser 1954-2016

Both Regina Moya’s writing and her life are a blend of two cultures. Her childhood in Mexico City was interrupted by a period of living in Philadelphia from the age of two to six. This was the perfect age to become fluent in both Spanish and English, and to absorb some of the culture of America. Fast forward to 2003, and a six-month to one-year project in San Antonio has turned into 13 years to date. Now she is happily ensconced in her King William home with her husband, Juan Fernandez, and their three children.

Growing up, it fell to Regina, the second of five children and one of 30 grandchildren, to organize the holiday posadas created to entertain their family. She used her rich imagination to write the dialogue, full of humor and often containing parodies of her elders. Regina went on to study communication and to earn a Masters degree in literature and creative writing. She wrote her first novel when she was 20 years old. She announced to her family that she had written it, but was not going to let them read it yet. She registered it in Mexico, but did not pursue publishing it.

Three years later, at her wedding, her father surprised her by announcing a secret about Regina that he was going to reveal. While packing up her belongings for the move to her new home, her parents found the manuscript she had hidden. They really liked the story. To her great surprise, they found a publisher for the book, and her father presented the printed Memorias de dos mujeres mexicanas to her at the reception. She told me that she read it over and over during her honeymoon and told herself that she needed to write.

Regina began to have an interest in children’s literature. She took classes to learn illustrating as well as painting. She was fortunate to meet Lina Cuartas, a children’s book author and illustrator who was born in Columbia but now lives in San Antonio. Lina took Regina under her wing and taught her illustration. Regina also took classes at the Southwest School of Art and at Gemini Ink. While perfecting her skills, she participated in the Writers in Communities (WIC) program sponsored by Gemini Ink. She was able to teach writing and painting to migrant children in detention, to kids in juvenile detention, to high school dropouts and to incarcerated, pregnant moms, among others.

After a 10-year break from novel writing, Regina set herself a deadline to start a book. It was just before...

Read more: El Dia del Guajolote/Turkey Day

1. Identify the factors that will shape your decision. Deciding whether to restore or rehabilitate your house, and to what extent, involves understanding its history; its architecture; and the present condition of its materials, finishes, and systems. You should also consider your household’s lifestyle and what personal needs the finished house must accommodate. More broadly, local historic district designations, local building codes, property insurance, and other regulatory or financial considerations will impact the path you take.

2. Review the house’s history. Who lived in the house and when? Did important events occur there? Did either (or both) scenarios have historical significance? If so, you could consider restoring the house to that period to help interpret its history.

3. Know what “restore” means. To restore a house means to return its interior and exterior appearance to a particular date or time period. Strict restorations—ones that eliminate everything not present during the period chosen—are rare for homes, with most owners opting...

Read more: 10 Tips: Restoring vs. Rehabilitating Your Historic House

The Fair staff is busy preparing for the upcoming Home Tour and Holiday Fair. It seems a little taste of Fiesta in December might just be a good thing! So join us on December 3 as we kick off the 50th celebration of the King William Association. And as we gear up for the 50th Fair on April 29, we are planning for some new and exciting activities to make this the best Fair yet. We will preview our fun 2017 logo by artist Zane Thomas at the December 7 membership meeting.

Now we’d like to introduce our newest member of the Fair team, Noah Peterson. Noah is an upbeat, diligent, high energy, creative thinker, and organizer who also happens to be a delightful, emotional saxophonist. He’s been a section leader, sideman, band leader, composer, arranger, producer and business manager for blues, funk, rock, folk, gospel, avant-garde, West African marimba, reggae, pop, jazz, Zydeco, easy listening and jam bands.

With 20 years’ experience in planning festivals, programming, concerts, tours, promotions, music/TV production and media relations, Noah has exhibited the ability to build relationships and business opportunities within local and regional markets. He is experienced in social media platforms and a variety of web editors, and all the many aspects of running a small business.

Noah grew up in Billings, MT and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1991 joining the Marine Music Program. This experience, performing over 400 shows and logging 60,000 travel miles a year, gave him great insight and skills into what it takes to organize and maintain a group on the move. From the Marines he went to...

Read more: Fair View

Fall and early winter is a good time to add trees and shrubs to the landscape .

There are free lists of each to the right of the KWA’s office door. Many if not most can be found at privately owned local nurseries, such as Fanick’s.

To get your lawn and garden off to a good start next spring - yes spring - now is the best time to fertilize using an organic fertilizer. This is something else you can find at privately owned local nurseries. You do not have to immediately water in organic fertilizers. Put it off a day or so if rain is predicted and let Mother Nature do it for you.

We are at the end of another year of gardening. It has been an interesting one. South Texas weather has been described as long periods of drought interspersed by floods.

I hope you gardeners out there enjoyed reading about it as much as I did writing about it. Thanks for the many complements I’ve received about this column.

From The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain: A Book of Quotations. Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.

Garden Note: The minutes quickly turn to hours when I’m among herbs and flowers. -Alan Cash

Winter Highlights Well, the election is over and the matter of the next occupant of the nation’s White House has been determined. And finally, after six long years, the Bonham White House has moved to Pereida St. If you look back through my articles over the past four years, you may see several references to it. It has been p r o m - ised to be moved s e v e r a l times. As a historical building, it was important to keep the house i n t a c t , but our children need room to play and grow. The solution: move it down the block to the intersection of Cedar and Pereida. As many have noticed, the old Children’s Shelter building is gone and a townhome center is under construction in its place.

Bonham Academy Winter Festival

Bonham Academy is gointo host its Winter Festival on December 9. Over 200 Bonham students, family members and staff are expected to take part in the festivities. Money collected from the sale of food and drinks will be used to...

Read more: Garden St. School News: December 2016

You have probably seen some flags flying on a lot of the old houses in King William and perhaps you wondered, what’s the story about these flags? The flag is blue and orange and yellow and has 100 printed on it. I talked to Mike Schroeder, KW resident and architect, who designed the flag in 1991, which was the 100th year of San Antonio’s Fiesta Celebration.

Since 1968, the King William Fair has been a part of the annual Fiesta occurring each April. Dee Dee Polk was the Fair Chairperson in 1991. She and her committee thought it would be a good idea for KWA to honor the 100-year tradition of Fiesta. Someone suggested a flag and Dee Dee approached Mike about creating a design. He made some sketches incorporating elements and colors that would be eye-catching.

The resulting design has a suggestion of unfolding panels...

Read more: The Story Behind the KWA 100 Year Flag

Over 16 neighbors have taken advantage of the City’s cost-share program and KWA Sidewalk reimbursement program to get new sidewalks.

(See details in the July KWA Newsletter.)

City Council has approved the program for the 2017 budget year, so more funding is available.

Call 311 to get your quote, but remember to have the inspector come out to give the actual quote as it is usually lower than the $60/ linear foot quoted by 311.

King William Fair proceeds fund this project. Take advantage today!

So far KWA has reimbursed over $5,900 for the five repaired sidewalks.

-Cherise Bell

Subcategories

Monthly column from KWA president.

Tips and resources for historic home and building preservation.

Learn the history of some of the neighborhood's historic structures.

General history and anecdotes about the King William Area.