San Antonio Conservation Society

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Research the history of your house, your neighborhood, or treasured San Antonio landmarks!


Explore historic farm & ranch sites in Bexar and adjacent Texas counties.


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The Society advocates preserving the architectural, natural and cultural heritage of San Antonio.

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This Friday we will be looking at one of San Antonio’s few Prairie Style houses. Designed by George Willis while employed by Atlee Ayres in 1913, the Kuntz House embodies the Prairie School to the point of almost appearing transplanted from Oak Park. Willis employed horizontal massing emphasized by wide eaves and dark roman brick with contrasting light trim. He alluded to the pinwheel plan that marked Wright’s houses with a two-story center mass that disrupts the primary roofline, which runs the entire exposed width of the lot. Ample windows and interior wood trim aid in connecting residents to nature. These features coalesce to create a quintessential Prairie Style house smack in the middle of the foothills of the Texas Hill Country.

The Kuntz House, however, was not designed by your run of the mill Frank Lloyd Wright acolyte, as George Willis began his career as a draftsman for Wright at his Oak Park studio. This may be the First Familiar Façade Friday that the local architect actually worked on both buildings.

The Willits house of Highland Park, Illinois was designed by Wright in 1901 ( and possibly drafted in part by George Willis) and represents a significant step in the evolution of the Prairie School. The pinwheel plan, protruding front mass that disrupts the otherwise dominant horizontality of the primary roofline and the plentiful windows helped establish a design language from which Wright's proteges could work.

While the interest in an architecture derived from our local landscape and culture here in San Antonio would not develop for a couple of decades, we can credit Willis for exposing Texans to a beautiful and innovative school of architecture.
For anyone looking for their very own (very luxurious) Prairie Style house, the Kuntz House is up for sale, just look at listings in Monte Vista!
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6 days ago

San Antonio Conservation Society

We want to thank our tireless volunteers, the Canary Islands Descendants Association-San Antonio, the San Antonio Food Bank, the Bexar County Buffalo Soldiers, and the The Professional Tour Guide Association of San Antonio for all their help with our Heritage Education Tours. This morning the kids are learning how the acequia helped to irrigate farms near the missions and see it in action, even with this weather! ... See MoreSee Less

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