A Photographic Guide to the Many Faces of Alamo Plaza
Samuel Augustus Maverick (1803-1870) came to San Antonio in 1835 eager to acquire land, but quickly became embroiled in the developing Texas Revolution. When events came to a head in March of 1836, the garrison of Alamo defenders sent Maverick as a delegate to the independence convention held at Washington-on-the-Brazos. Maverick's absence during the Battle of the Alamo, which raged only four days after he left town, spared his life.

Wishing to live "where his comrades gave their lives defending liberty," Maverick moved his family from Alabama to San Antonio in 1838 ("The Alamo," 10). He purchased a large tract of land surrounding the old Alamo compound and built a two-story home in the compound's northwest corner in 1850. This was the first new structure of any significant size to be built around the battle site (Maverick, 87).

Across Houston Street from the homestead site, construction on Samuel A. Maverick, Jr.'s bank began in 1884, replacing the former Maverick lumberyard. The building, considered San Antonio's first skyscraper, endured the bank's failure in 1892, surviving until the 1920s, when it was torn down ("Photo Captures First Skyscraper").

About this Image:
1.) Postcard featuring East Houston Street, looking west from Alamo Plaza. Visible on the left is the Maverick Bank Building. Fischer's drug store occupies the one-story building across from the bank, on land where the Maverick Homestead once stood.

2.) The Maverick Homestead, located at the northwest corner of Alamo Plaza and Houston Street. A team of oxen rests beside a wagon in the foreground. Construction of the Gibbs building, which replaced Fischer's drug store on this site, started in 1908.

3.) The north end of Alamo Plaza, looking west down Houston Street. The intersection bustles with streetcars, automobiles, and a few wagons making deliveries. From left to right, the Maverick Bank Building, Gibbs Building, and post office anchor the northwest corner of the plaza.

To Learn More:
Courtesy of San Antonio Conservation Society Foundation
Click to Enlarge
c. 1905c. 1905
2.)     c. 18502.) c. 1850
3.)     c. 1910-19113.) c. 1910-1911
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