KWA Newsletter Articles

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...

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

This pretty two-story Eastlake-Victorian house at 151 Crofton was built in 1903. It was a wedding gift to Dr. Edward Hertzberg and his wife, Helene, from the young doctor’s parents. The senior Hertzbergs, Theodor and Emilie, who owned the brick mansion next door at 155 Crofton, hoped to see a large and loving family of grandchildren grow up in the new house. That dream came true.

Edward and Helene Hertzberg had three children, Helene, Lenora (Nola) and Edward, Jr. Talented in the arts, Nola traveled to Germany in the 1920s to study theatre, art and music, planning on a career in one of these fields. While there, she met and married a German national. As Hitler’s Nazi regime began to engulf the country, Nola Hertzberg Feiler thought it prudent for her to return to the United States, moving back into the Crofton family home with her parents. She had a happy life there for many years but then one day, tragedy struck.

On New Year’s Day, January 1, 1955, several family members piled into the family car for a drive to the country. Besides Nola, there was her mother, her older sister, Helene Simmang, and her husband, Theodore Simmang. They were hardly out of the city on Bandera Road when an oncoming car veered into their lane causing...

It finally looks a little more like winter with gray skies and bare branches, but this seems like another year without the temperatures to match.

My house is bristling with chimneys so you’d imagine it would be producing curling plumes of wood smoke suitable for a Currier and Ives Christmas Card.

They ring the house like towers on top of a fortress from the Middle Ages. The largest of them corbels out from its base, if I squint it reminds me of the silhouette of the Torre del Mangia in Siena or the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.

The defending army at these ramparts turns out to be squirrels hurling pecan shells rather than guardsmen flinging boiling oil or rocks. It’s still my castle, just the same.

And there is no smoke pouring forth, because the house doesn’t have a single fireplace. These chimneys once served as the flues for a collection of coal burning stoves, one in the corner of every room. They are all capped with tin hats now, barring the rodent army from the interior of the house.

Shortly after I bought the house I found myself sitting at a desk in the County Tax Appraiser’s Office...

A series of limited edition holiday ornaments has been created as part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the King William Association.

Images are from the illustrated book “Caroline Shelton Paints King William Street San Antonio Texas.”

Each year, a different home will be featured on these collectible ornaments.

The Ike West house is the first, and will be available for $10 at the Home Tour and Holiday Fair in King William Park on December 3.

Look for more official King William Association merchandise at our booth in King William Park near the corner of King William Street and Turner Street.

See you there!

Greetings everyone! The holiday season is upon us and we are approaching the end of 2016!

Last month, the City of San Antonio introduced the new downtown parking initiative, which will bring some significant changes to the neighborhood. I hope you had an opportunity to attend the parking meetings held during November, as this represents a considerable change to resident and business parking in our neighborhood. If you have any questions or concerns, please address them to the city.

Looking forward, in 2017 the City has a bond election slated for the spring that could have a significant impact on King William/Lavaca and the surrounding area. The KWA board reviewed projects recommended by City staff for inclusion in the bond election, and voted to support the following projects:

According to the LOCAL Community News “San Antonio budgets about $1.2 million a year for graffiti abatement. A 15-member team labors six days a week, aided by 2,500 volunteers.” Graffiti includes painting, glass etching, “slaps” and stickers.

Although the motivations behind tagging and graffiti vary, experts agree it is important to clean or remove the tagging immediately. A clean building, sign, electrical box, or wall sends the message that vandalism is not appropriate in our neighborhood. Help keep our neighborhood clean by volunteering to be a block captain. Also, the KWA office has graffiti wipes that easily clean paint off of metal – just come by the office to pick some up. Together we can help keep King William clean. - Cherise Bell

KWA NNO organizers Josie Garcia, Ethel Pedraza and Nelda Burch, with Sheldon Shea from the Texas Masonic Lodge #8 AF & AM and our neighborhood fire fighters from Station #7

Big red fire engine, handsome fire fighters, and Sparky the Fire dog along with his best friend McGruff came together to take a bite out of crime the evening of October 4. King William celebrated NNO in style, joined by Texas Lodge #8. These gentlemen grilled over 100 hotdogs with all the trimmings, add a six-foot sub and you’ve got the makings of a celebration. Mr. Ramos with KONO kept those oldies but goodies coming while everyone enjoyed visiting with neighbors and friends. Thanks to all who came out and enjoyed a lovely evening.

KWA board member Patty Garcia (standing) with neighbors Roger Martines, Mari Feist and Henry Botello

A special thanks to Sheldon Shed, NNO organizer for Texas Lodge #8 and to the KWA Social Committee for all their time and efforts in organizing this event. We also want to thank everyone who showed their support of the SA Food Bank by bringing a jar of peanut butter. We collected 14 jars and a cash donation! This is awesome! Thank you! - Josie Garcia

Past President Harry Shafer, KWA ED Cherise Bell, current KWA President Chris Price and Cheryl Bell

 

The KWA Architectural Advisory Committee (AAC) is comprised of association residents – including licensed architects – who volunteer their time to evaluate cases that are presented to the City of San Antonio Historic and Design Review Commission (HDRC), for discussion and recommendation. Any property owner who desires to make changes to the exterior of their property, or to their site (front, side or back yard), must make application to the HDRC. This application process is handled through the City’s Office of Historic Preservation (OHP). Once the OHP staff reviews the case (project request), they make a staff recommendation, and then forward the King William neighborhood cases (and others that have an impact on the neighborhood) to the AAC, so that our neighborhood can weigh in and provide commentary to the HDRC as part of the public input process.

Although most of the cases that are reviewed include additions, renovations, requests to change out windows (which are not often approved), fence installations, landscaping and site improvements (walkways, driveways, etc.), new roofing, and material replacements, more recently, there have been many cases that include requests to install solar panels, understandably due to the CPS rebates that are being offered. As the KWA committee that is...

Cool fall weather seems to be settling in. Now is the time to plant winter annuals that will bloom until January and again in March and April. These cool natured plants include snapdragons, stocks, dianthus, and calendulas. Snapdragons, depending on type, grow to various heights up to three feet. Stocks are fragrant, usually white or blue, and grow to 18 inches. Dianthus are red, white pink, and lavender, do not grow tall but do well in hanging baskets. Calendulas have yellow or gold blooms on one and a half foot stems.

With the cool weather, now is the time to put about 1/4 inch compost on lawns and in flower beds. If you have not yet done so you can still put out a good organic fertilizer. The combination puts needed nutrients in the soil.

It is not necessary to water lawns as often as we go into fall and winter. About every three weeks should be enough. Put automatic sprinkler systems on the manual setting and use only as needed. Remember, your sewer charge for next year is based on your water usage from November to March.

Tired of cutting and trimming a lawn or want to make changes in your garden so it is not so labor intensive? Consider putting in a xeric landscape using drought tolerant plants. A good example can be seen at 112 Mission St. Take a look.

From Wisdom of Mark Twain: A Book of Quotations:“To promise not to do a thing is the surest way in the world to make a body want to go and do that very thing.”

Garden Note: A beautiful garden is a work of love. -Alan Cash

You still have a chance to view Toro’s delightful “Westi Lost in the Park” series of colorful paintings at the offices of King William Association. Toro is a local artist and native Texan with a studio at Lonestar Art Space. After attending the San Antonio Art Institute in the 1990s, he was encouraged by his mentor, Linda Pace, to travel abroad. Toro studied in the Netherlands and traveled to Jerusalem.

Once home and working on his paintings, Toro began to experiment with homemade pigments. He was searching for a certain quality with an aluminum effect. His frustration in finding what he was searching for led him to mix different organic and inorganic items into paints. He started by cutting up aluminum cans with pliers. The pieces were not fine enough and this led him to using a coffee grinder to make a finer grade. Once he learned how to make his own paint, he found a mill in Houston to make his required ingredient.

Toro continued to experiment with adding flower petals, seeds, crushed chipotle peppers and bee pollen to his pigments. He finally achieved the qualities that he was looking for. These paints are used with great effect in his paintings. Plan to stop by during office hours to see his colorful expressions before the exhibit ends. - Nora Peterson

Fall Highlights-Parents, students and teachers shared an evening of discussion about curriculum and instruction during our Open House events in September (K-2) and October (3rd – 8th). Information for the Gifted and Talented Program was presented and the School, Parent and Student Compacts were shared. It takes a community to support every child.

WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) Over 60 fathers attended the first event to form the Bonham Academy chapter of the Watch D.O.G.S. Program on October 13.

Fathers, grandfathers, uncles and other father-figures volunteer at least one full day during the school year at an official WATCH D.O.G.S. school. These men work right alongside the educators, play at recess, eat lunch with students, watch the school entrances and hallways, assist with traffic flow and any other assigned activities where they actively engage with students.

The two primary goals of the program are to provide positive male role models for the students, demonstrating by their presence that education is important, and to provide extra sets of eyes and ears to enhance school security and reduce bullying.

Fall Festival Bonham Academy will once again host its annual Fall Festival on November 4. We anticipate...

A beloved neighborhood leader has been called away to serve a permanent mission.

James R. Johnson, Sr., LTC, U.S. Army (ret), who received the Silver Star for gallantry in action while serving in Vietnam and served his King William neighborhood with an equal amount of vigor, passed away on September 21, 2016. His health had declined over the past months, but he lived a full life of adventure and merriment for many of his 85 years.

“The Colonel,” as he was known to many of his neighbors, was a tireless advocate who sought to “do his part” in bettering the San Antonio community. In the late 1990s, he provided great leadership when he served as the King William Association president. During 2001- 2007, Jim represented District 1 on the board of the San Antonio River Authority, where he served to make sure there would be dedicated funding to support the Mission Reach project.

Jim had a real passion for life and companionship, whether with friends, one of his dogs, a tennis partner or foe, or a personal love. Although he sometimes hid behind a rigid demeanor, the tenderness in his eyes usually gave him away. He was an old soul who celebrated the nostalgia of baseball, the military and rustic travel, but had the spirit and heart of a young trooper who approached every mission with purpose, leadership, a vision and the ability to...

King William has only one church building that has continually functioned as a church. At the corner of Eagleland and St. Mary’s, the familiar white stucco, tile-roofed structure was built as Westminster Presbyterian, but became San Antonio Mennonite in the 1980s. The very first Mennonites were Christian followers of Menno Simons in sixteenth century Europe who broke away from the state-sponsored Protestant church over their belief in adult baptism. Today, the Mennonite Church has two million members all over the world, and is known for a focus on nonviolence, community and service to others.

The past year has seen a few changes at SAMC. Our pastor of 11 years, Rachel Epp Miller, stepped down, and for a full year the church managed all its functions through unpaid lay leadership. John Garland was named the new pastor in May. John has many connections to the Southtown community: he lives in Lavaca, his children attend Bonham Elementary School, and he sells his backyard-grown, organic micro-greens to local residents. An avid runner, you might see him training around the neighborhood. His family also rides bikes and canoes on the King William portion of the Mission Reach River Walk.

In the spring, San Antonio Mennonite Church went through...

At last, that lonely Mission Road Power Plant will soon undergo a big change. The historic plant at Mission Road and Highland Boulevard will be transformed into a world-class center that will serve as a cradle for invention and a catalyst for clean energy innovation and technological advancement.

“EPI” stands for “Energy, Partnerships and Innovation.” The $74 million center will be unique in the country in terms of combining a think tank, incubation/start-up space (similar to Geekdom), fabrication laboratory, museum and conference center focusing on new energy innovation - all in one place. Its estimated opening is in 2020.

EPIcenter will:

Showcase a range of clean, new energy technologies through facility installations and changing exhibitions;

Inspire new development by co-locating advancing companies from all other the world with members of the clean energy and technical community at a single facility to spur collaboration and creativity;

Educate professionals, students and local, state, national and...

The International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) paid tribute to the King William Fair on September 27 during the annual Pinnacle Awards Ceremony held at IFEA’s 61st Annual Convention, where it received the Bronze Award for Best Pin/Medal in the prestigious IFEA/ Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards competition . King William Fair Manager, Zet Baer, CFEE, was on hand to receive it. Awards were made in 68 different categories.

The 2016 King William Fair pin/medal was designed by San Antonio artist and Blue Star Complex business owner, Robert Tatum. Clearly, judges were impressed by the playful nature of the design with a celebratory “George the Duck” playing guitar in a tasseled cowboy hat with a traditional ionic column, all surrounded in colorful glitter.

The professional competition draws entries from among the world’s top festivals and events. Winning entries came from organizations as diverse as the St. Louis Art Fair, St. Louis, MO; the International Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington, D.C.; the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, Pasadena, CA; the Sausalito Art Festival, Sausalito, CA; and Celebrations Ottawa in Ottawa, ON, Canada.

The IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Competition recognizes the outstanding accomplishments and...

Something like fall has finally arrived on our neighborhood streets. The trees are debating whether they agree with this fact and are undecided about dropping their leaves. My fig tree and the pecans have already carpeted the lawn and terrace with their summer clothing, the red oaks are still waiting for their cue on the arboreal striptease stage.

With the shade diminishing the unfiltered, dramatic, raking light of fall becomes more evident. The lower angle of the sun seems to create sharper contrast between light and shadow, crisper, more defined edges in the chiaroscuro scene that’s framed by bare branches.

The effect of the descending sun is dramatic in the dining room, radiating below the half drawn shades and making the lace curtains blaze with the fire-light of sunset. These windows are my observatory where I chart the arc of Phaeton through the seasons.

On the porches the setting sun probes the soffits, illuminating what was all in shade for the summer, as if a spotlight was being deliberately aimed upward.

The summer’s shield of giant bamboo and trees to the west is losing its welcome function as the sun moves to the south, blinding a sunset watcher’s gaze on the back porch...

The KWA Cultural Arts Committee is working on a walking tour brochure for the “Arsenal” side of our neighborhood association. Deed and consensus research conducted by intern Michael Carroll revealed this area’s original settlers were ethnically diverse:

  • • 210 Arsenal - Russian Jews Michael and Freda Dubinski Milgrom immigrated to the United States in 1880.
  • • 119 Daniel - Irish immigrants Patrick and Anastatia “Statia” Donoghue purchased their lot in 1901.
  • • 115 Rische - James Montanio was born in Italy in 1888. He immigrated with his parents at the age of eight, their ship docking at the port of New Orleans.
  • • 920 S. Main - Eugenio Ruiz and his wife and fellow Mexican immigrant Carlota built their house here after Carlota purchased the lot in 1910.
  • • 216 W. Johnson - Frenchborn Jean and Alexine Loustaunau immigrated to the United States in 1867. Jean co-founded La Maison Blanche, a French restaurant on Market Street.

- Cherise Bell

I was sitting on my front porch swing one afternoon enjoying the mild weather and admiring the wellmaintained homes up and down my block. It dawned on me how much has changed since I moved to King William in 1979 and how many new neighbors have taken residence in just the past few years and who may not be aware of its history.

So, I am starting this occasional series, calling it “Old News, ” mainly using past issues of the KWA newsletter for inspiration. I hope it will be enjoyed by our newer neighbors and that it will bring back some memories to those of you who were early arrivals when you were asked, “Aren’t you afraid to live downtown?!”

My first bit of Old News started in the fall of 2002 and is about the King William/Lavaca Tree Project. Although not in the too distant past, I am writing about the tree project because I was part of the group of volunteers...