A Photographic Guide to the Many Faces of Alamo Plaza
In 1881, the 63-year-old Mary and her children sold the hotel to the contractor who had built it: John H. Kampmann . Under Kampmann, it continued to grow and prosper. Renowned local architect Alfred Giles added a third story to the Menger hotel in 1909. This renovation created a lavish three-story space in the Menger lobby, illuminated by a leaded, stained glass skylight. Additions to the north and east, made several times in the 19th and 20th centuries, extended the hotel so that it filled the entire block ("National Register").

Many famous guests roomed at the Menger. "Cattlemen such as Richard King stayed here during the era of the great cattle drives. Other guests included Generals U.S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, and John Pershing; poet Sidney Lanier, writer O. Henry (William Sidney Porter); and performers at the Grand Opera House located across the plaza. Theodore Roosevelt recruited his regiment of "Rough Riders" for the Spanish-American War at the Menger in 1898" ("Menger Hotel").

About this Image:
1.) Looking southeast at the front entrance to the Menger Hotel.

2.) Despite the Menger's illustrious history, Joske's Department Store almost purchased the hotel in 1940, intending to tear it down for more parking. Without the efforts of Conservation Society member Ella Stumpf and University of Texas folklorist J. Frank Dobie, who launched a public petition to save the building, one of San Antonio's beloved treasures would have been lost (Fisher 1996, 226-227).

To Learn More:
Courtesy of San Antonio Conservation Society Foundation
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2.)   20132.) 2013