The King William District

 My favorite place to go for walks in South San Antonio is in the King William neighborhood, on the San Antonio River.  I don’t get to go much when it’s not daylight savings time as I get off work too late.  But on Sundays and Mondays you’ll probably find me there around 4 or 5 in the evening. 

This information from the King William Neighborhood Association website:  The King William Association has the distinction of being what may be the only neighborhood association in the entire state with three historic districts within its boundaries, including the state’s oldest district created by city ordinance and two districts recognized by the National Register of Historic Places. All three districts are equally protected by city ordinances and share a common theme of historical and cultural importance.

The King William area was originally farmland, irrigated by acequias flowing from the San Antonio River, owned by the 1718 Mission San Antonio de Valero. By the beginning of the 19th century, the missions were fully secularized, and the land belonging to Mission Concepcion was bought, sold, and divided into tracts by land speculators, beginning in the 1840s.

One of the earliest to settle was Carl Guenther, a German immigrant who built Pioneer Flour Mills on the lower bend of the San Antonio River. A number of other successful and influential German immigrants discovered the area and began building mansions, using Greek Revival, Victorian, and Italianate architectural styles. Ernst Altgelt, the first to build on current-day King William Street, is credited with naming his street after King Wilhelm I of Prussia.

When neighborhoods to the north began drawing King William residents away in the 1920s, many of the grand mansions were turned into apartments and the district fell into decline.  But in the 1960s, creative young professionals rediscovered King William and began a renaissance, which continues to this day.  The district was expanded in 1984 to include a more eclectic neighborhood of cottages south of Alamo Street.

And this information, from the Parks and Recreation Department.

King William Park
131 King William

  King William Park’s gazebo is available for weddings and parties. The rental fee is $40 for the first four hours and then $25 an hour for every hour after that Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.; $80 for the first four hours and then $25 an hour for every hour after that on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and holidays. Electricity is available. There are no rest rooms and no off-street parking. Security lighting is the only lighting available in the evenings. For more information and to determine availability, call 210-207-7275 or one of your Community Link Services Centers. For a listing check the main page.

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