King WIlliams District

King WIlliams District

19th Century

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King William District is 1 of 25 local historic districts in San Antonio just south of the business district. The historical neighborhood first served the purpose of irrigated farms in the San Antonio de Valero Mission, one of the earliest Spanish catholic missions commonly known as the Alamo Mission. In 1793, after the mission was secularized (religion was taken out), the farmland was divided into tracts for the Indian families. Fast-forward to the 1830’s, San Antonio began experiencing a large influx of German immigration and influence due to their desire for the “American Dream” to escape poverty in their home country. The Germans instilled a distinct architectural style prominent in much of San Antonio today, but for their influence, it deemed the King William District the “Sauerkraut Bend” back in that time. During the years of 1853-1859 streets were laid out and named in honor of King Wilhelm I of Prussia. In the Gilded Age (1840’s and 50’s), streets in the vicinity of the district, like Commerce and Houston Street, became important retail streets playing a vital part of San Antonio’s role as the center for trade. The King William District, being adjacent to these streets obviously served as a major anchoring neighborhood for the population to live in. In the 1930’s the district began to decline as a result from the Great Depression but attracted people back who saw an opportunity for restoration in the 1950’s.

20th CenturyImage title

The growth of the community after the time of the Great Depression was a catalyst for Spanish colonial revival introducing more modern and eclectic styles with the presence of art deco influences. It was the desire of the locals to preserve the epic architectural design, dating back to the early 19th century, that deems the King William District the most elegant and fashionable residential area in the city. In 1968 the district was designated a historical district and was added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1972. Houses and buildings have been reincarnated into a variety of community purposes such as cafes, museums, art galleries, shops, apartments, and refurbished homes. Founded in 1924, the San Antonio Conservation Society holds to be one of the oldest and most accomplished historic preservation advocacy organizations in the US and is fully dedicated to sustain the unique culture of our city. 

21st Century

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Today, the King Williams Association and the San Antonio Conservation Society have teamed to actively revive the celebrated ethnic essence of all the Hispanic, French, German, and American immigrants that left behind a legacy through history. There is no question that San Antonio’s essence of culture can be best captured through the story of our city’s churches, institutions, homes, buildings, and archeological resources. In order to preserve the epic uniqueness of our culture’s architectural roots the San Antonio Conservation Society implemented a Strategic Historic Preservation Plan in 2009. This plan is designed to shine the light on past successes by acknowledging the role of history in moving forward toward shaping urban form and character within new economic development. The Strategic Historic Preservation Plan also seeks to:

  • Create jobs due to increased rehabilitation activity and neighborhood revitalization

  • Increase tourism and housing options

  • Provide focus for cultural and economic development

  • Organize tours to inform others of historic significance

  • Encourage investments in the city’s central core

Brian Cordova Headshot
Phone: 210-865-7653
Dated: May 4th 2016
Views: 44
About Brian: Brian offers a wealth of knowledge when it comes to your real estate needs in San Antonio. Whether y...

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