Last week, we gave statements in support of two landmark designations at Zoning Commission. We also wrote to City Council, reluctantly ending our push to landmark the long-neglected Beacon Hill School.
Two historic houses in the Alta Vista neighborhood, 800 W. Russell and 2511 N. Flores, have received approval for landmark designation from the Zoning Commission and will move on to City Council. Both of these historic houses play an important role in the visual character of the entry into the neighborhood from San Pedro Springs Park.
Unfortunately, decades of neglect and recent scare-tactics sealed the fate of the 1915 Beacon Hill School. City Council voted to allow demolition of the landmark-eligible building, subject to an agreement between the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) and the City’s Office of Historic Preservation. As part of the agreement, SAISD will introduce a new cultural heritage curriculum to teach students about the value of historic preservation. Students will get a lesson in irony, as well as preservation, in this classic case of “do as I say, not as I do.” But, we hope that teaching the next generation to be good stewards of historic resources will prevent future cases of demolition by neglect.
Councilman Manny Palaez had the courage to call the district out for letting the historic school deteriorate to its current condition.