A Photographic Guide to the Many Faces of Alamo Plaza
The next block of Alamo Street, extending from Crockett Street south beyond the plaza proper to Commerce Street, lies within the Alamo Plaza National Register Historic District. This area attracted immigrants from Germany and Austria, who developed prosperous retail establishments in the late nineteenth century. Early stores included Dreiss Drugs, Joske Bros., and Dullnig's grocery.

Adolf Dreiss (1848-1908) came to Texas from Stuttgart, Germany at age seven. As a young man, he worked as a drug store clerk, served in the Confederate Army, and eventually went into the drug business for himself (McCloud). In 1872, he "bought a lot on Alamo Plaza and erected a three-story building to house [the] retail drug establishment he had operated since 1867." Noted specialties included the "Elixir of Life" and "Dead Shot for Screw Worms" (National Register).

Julius Joske (1825-1909) and his sons, Alexander and Albert, came to San Antonio from Berlin, Germany in 1873. They established a small dry goods store on Main Plaza, then Austin Street, catering to the local military posts. In 1875, the family moved the business to the west side of Alamo Plaza, an area quickly becoming an important business location ("The Enjoyable Joske Story"). This store introduced the use of the penny as change for the first time in San Antonio (Ibid).

About this Image:
Looking south down Alamo Street towards the intersection with Commerce Street. Several immigrant businessmen set up their establishments as close to Alamo Plaza as possible. From left to right: the Dullnig Building (with octagonal tower), Scholz Beer Garden (with awnings), Joske Bros. Store, and Dreiss Drugs.

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Courtesy of the San Antonio Conservation Society Foundation, Raba Collection.
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