local history

The Source - August 27, 2014
10:42 am
Wed August 27, 2014

The Source: Renewing Alamo Plaza

Chris Eudaily TPR News

Last night the Alamo Plaza Advisory Commission met to discuss the future of the most famous building in San Antonio, which included how to improve the experience of a huge tourist draw while improving historical aspects of the grounds. One could say the project is 178 years in the making.

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Texas Matters
10:53 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Texas Dance Hall Memories: Icons Of Music & Culture Are Fading Away

The front entrance of Club 21, a classic Texas dance hall that was destroyed in a fire October 2010.
Credit David Martin Davies

Dance halls in danger

Patrick Sparks is the president of Texas Dance Hall Preservation - you can find them online at TexasDanceHall.org. They have information about where the dance halls are and what events are coming up at them.

"It's a kind of magic; people who have never been to a real Texas dance hall go to one, it's a real experience for them. So there's a huge feeling in the state and elsewhere for the halls and how important they are."

Texas dance halls: A radio documentary

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Museum Reach
10:19 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Historic Foot Bridge Goes Up Over Museum Reach At The Pearl

Industrial bridge from The Pearl Brewery re-used as a crossover for Museum Reach
Eileen Pace

The latest piece of history to come to the Museum Reach is a 20th century iron bridge originally constructed to convey beer across the Pearl Brewery.

The 17.5-ton bridge did the heavy lifting at the Pearl Brewery starting back in the 1970s.

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The Source - August 6, 2014
2:49 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

The Source: Historic Neighborhood Status Prompts Questions

A group of people opposing the historic designation for the Mahncke Park neighborhood rallied in late July.
Credit Eileen Pace / TPR News

The dust up in Mahncke Park over a historic neighborhood designation divided the community, with some wanting to avoid the added restriction on construction but others striving to protect their neighborhood from rapid development.

Lots of buzz and media attention were on the neighbors, but now those petitioning the city have seen support drop to a level that makes the current proposal untenable, according to the Office of Historic Preservation.

The neighborhood was the first to try to attain the status since the process was reformed. 

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Historic Designation
10:24 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Mahncke Park Residents Upset Over 30% Rule For Historic Designation

Dr. Gary Cox, speaking for the Property Rights Coalition of Mahncke Park, explains why his group opposes the current city ordinance.
Eileen Pace TPR News

An increasingly vocal group of homeowners is making its opposition known about turning the century-old Mahncke Park neighborhood into a historic district.   

Sporting signs and t-shirts saying "51% should rule," Mahncke Park homeowners opposed to the historic designation rallied at a press conference to oppose the city process they say leaves residents powerless against a minority of property owners. 

The historic designation process kicks in after 30% of homeowners make an official request, and the law does not require the agreement of a majority.

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Arts & Culture
4:03 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Explore Local History On A Hill Country Magical History Tour

Brent Evans with musket.
Jack Morgan TPR Arts

It’s a program created by the Patrick Heath Public Library in Boerne and it’s got a very retro feel. Hearkening back to the Beatles album, it's called the Magical History Tour.

“What we are trying to do is to introduce our patrons, and anyone else who’s interested, to the history of the region," said Heath librarian Robin Stauber. To do so they’ve created these tours, and Stauber said they have gone all over the place.  

“We’ve been to New Braunfels, we’ve been to Bandera, we’ve been to Castroville, we've been into San Antonio to do some things there,” Stauber said.

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The Source - June 25, 2014
1:11 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

The Source: City Ordinance Takes On San Antonio's Vacant Building Problem

Ryan Loyd TPR News

The city of San Antonio's vacant building pilot program wants to reduce the number of empty structures and increase economic prosperity. The council approved the program last week.

All across the city are a patchwork of developed and underdeveloped neighborhoods. As the city hopes to strengthen the center city, reducing vacancy and blight is the first target. 


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Arts & Culture
10:49 am
Fri May 30, 2014

How A Battle In Kendall County Changed The American West

A pivotal historic event happened about 40 miles north of San Antonio, and odds are you’ve never heard of it. It’s called the Battle of Walker’s Creek. Historian and author Sam Gwynne (he writes as S.C. Gwynne) describes it this way.

"It was a major change in the way that Indian warfare was conducted," Gwynne said. "And the story behind it is one of the great stories of the American West."

As he details, that story centers around Texas Ranger Jack Hays.

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The Source - May 15, 2014
9:35 am
Thu May 15, 2014

The Source: Exploring Our City's Hidden Gems

Kiddie Park on Broadway
Courtesy of John Dyer ©


In every city there are hidden gems; places off the beaten trail, less known and less likely to be a tourist attraction, their cultural and historical value less straight forward.

Such sites include the marriage of Mexican craftsmanship and Spanish engineering that resulted in Espada Dam and aquaduct, the history of the cemetery on East Commerce, little family-owned shops that have maintained the traditions of their forebears, the spots far from city center, the repurposed, and the countless places overrun by time.

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Local History
6:33 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Leaning Boehler Building Stays At Josephine Street

The Boehler Building gained its distinctive starboard slant as a result of surviving the big flood of 1921. Water reached the bottom of the second floor and when it receded, the building leaned dramatically to its right and has remained so ever since.
Credit Courtney King

The City’s Historic and Design Review Commission has denied permission for the Boehler Building’s owner to move the leaning structure to the Pearl property down the street.

The new owner of the crooked building, which many people still call the Liberty Bar, wanted to move it from its location on Josephine at the Hwy 281 exit, two blocks south to the corner of Avenue A and Pearl Parkway.

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