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San Antonio Conservation Society

Historic and Design Review Commission

December 5, 2018

At this week’s HDRC meeting, we spoke in favor of the Floodgate’s proposal to reuse the historic retaining wall on the river side of 139 E. Commerce.  However, we suggested that the developers consider a low, continuous wall to better reflect the original wall’s historic character.  The commission approved the overall project with staff stipulations.   See additional coverage of this project in The Rivard Report.

The stone retaining wall can be seen under the balcony at right in this mid-19th C. photo. It lies across the river from banker John Twohig's house.

We spoke against a request to demolish  the original garage designed to match the main house at the Red Berry Estate.  The commission upheld Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) staff’s recommendation that the applicant explore ways to incorporate this significant feature into the overall design. The proposed plan will convert this underutilized East Side historic site into an event center for the RK Group, a popular local catering company started by Rosemary Kowalski.

We also opposed an owner-requested determination of non-contributing status for the duplex at 235 Yellowstone in the Mission Historic District.  OHP staff and the commission agreed that the 1930s duplex retained many original features and continued to contribute to the South Side neighborhood.

A “non-contributing” building is one that does not add to a historic district’s sense of time, place, and historical development.   It can also refer to a building that has been so significantly altered or deteriorated that its integrity, or ability to contribute, has been lost.  Neither description fits 235 Yellowstone.

This image is copyrighted.

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