Historic and Design Review Commission (HDRC) – July 17, 2019
We spoke out against the demolition of the Mid-Century Modern style Almaguer Dance Studio in the Woodlawn Lake Historic District. Despite an earlier meeting with the architect and City representatives, we continued to question whether the historic building’s condition created an unreasonable economic hardship to repair. We suggested preserving the existing building and constructing an addition to accommodate new uses and amenities. Read our full statement.
After two hours of discussion, the HDRC decided to approve the demolition request. The commission also gave conceptual approval to the construction of a new recreation center. Stipulations included documenting the original building designed by local architect Reginald Roberts. It had been built in 1955 as an anglers’ clubhouse and met multiple criteria for individual landmark designation.
The park’s new recreation center will keep Almaguer’s name. It will also include some architectural elements in common with the original building. However, the park will lose an authentic piece of mid-century architecture that had provided decades of family memories.
Architect Reginald Roberts also designed the the Main Bank and Trust Building (now Luby’s on N. Main) and the 1967 River Walk barges. Fans of Mid-Century Modern architecture may want to commiserate over a LuAnn Special at Luby’s. That building is one of Roberts’ few major, non-residential commissions in San Antonio that remains standing.