From Landmark Designations to Historic Street Name Preservation
We made public statements supporting individual landmark designation for two historic homes this month. We also urged design refinements for an accessory structure in the Lavaca Historic District and spoke out for preserving ties to San Antonio’s early Spanish heritage. This heritage can be seen in features ranging from the remnant of an early water channel, known as an acequia, to historic street names. Vigilance is needed to preserve them.
City Council – May 2, 2019
Council approved landmark designation for an unusual, Asian-influenced bungalow at 843 Rigsby. Built c. 1922 by an unknown architect, this house represents an excellent example of a building type that is seldom seen in San Antonio.
Historic and Design Review Commission (HDRC)
May 1, 2019
On May 1st, the commission approved the second-story addition for an existing accessory structure at 218 Vance in the Lavaca Historic District. We had recommended fine-tuning the design to make it more compatible with the existing one-story house and its neighbors.
May 15, 2019
We supported landmark designation for the house and accessory structure at 430 and 434 E. Magnolia, originally built for early Tobin Hill investors Thomas and Eva Northway. The commission approved this designation, which will move on to City Council.
We also urged that 1022 N. Flores, which is now a vacant lot, keep its historic designation to protect the remnant of the San Pedro Acequia that crosses the property. However, HDRC denied the designation.
Planning Commission – May 22, 2019
Since its earliest years, the Society has opposed the renaming of San Antonio’s historic streets because this practice erodes public knowledge of our shared history. We continued to oppose University Health System’s request to change the name of Perez Street to Robert B. Green Way in the 200 block.
This request pits honoring Lt. Col. Ignacio Perez, Sr., one of the last governors of Spanish Texas, against wayfinding for nearby the Robert B. Green hospital campus, named for a prominent local judge. Two landmark buildings that predate the hospital still stand at 215 and 219 Perez Street. These surviving remnants of the Laredito neighborhood will be removed even further from their historic context through the loss of the original street name.
After being denied the name change by HDRC in April (for the second time since 2012), University Health Systems appealed to the Planning Commission, which approved their request. This case moves on to City Council on June 13th for a final decision.