After the article about 103 City appeared in last month’s newsletter, I received information from Marita Emmett which established that Albert Beckmann was the architect.
Her fascinating email follows:
Many years ago Maria Pfeiffer found the booklet “Architectural Beauties of San Antonio,” published in 1896 by architect Albert Beckmann, that has a photo of my house. Beckmann was son-in-law to the Guenther family. Armed with that book, I began identifying other Beckmann houses. Mine at 303 Adams is different because, unfortunately, somebody painted the brick. Most of the other houses still have the sand-colored brick with red brick accents and limestone accessories. Beckmann used the same exterior materials on most of his houses. Bulk buying isn’t such a new trend after all.
I suspect that Beckmann was the architect of 103 City Street. The exterior is certainly comparable to, say, the Walker house at 523 King William, the Cabrera house at 219 Guenther Street, the Price house at 331 Adams, and the Williams/McDonald house at 133 Crofton. The interiors of Beckmann homes also are formulaic; not identical, but most are based on an identifiable template as varied by budgets and personal choices. I don’t know if the interior of 103 City Street fits the Beckmann formula layout.
Marita and I worked together to see if Beckmann’s “Architectural Beauties” booklet included the home at 103 City Street. Sure enough, there is a photo of that home as originally built and identified as the “residence of Mr. Rud. Staacke.” Interestingly, we discovered that another City Street home also is the work of Beckmann. What is now the Mason’s Lodge at 212 City Street was built by Beckmann as the “residence of Dr. Jules Braunnagel.”
- Jessie Simpson