La Villita This is
really a neighborhood that was well thriving in the 1700s. It was
essentially a suburb of the Alamo. However, its remaining
buildings and houses are essentially of the 1800s, so I've included it
here. This is really a quaint area and one that I've only recently
really begun to appreciate. Normally, one thinks of it as an
unorganized collection of tourist shops. But if one dwells on the
history and really looks at certain of the buildings' construction
methodologies (there is an historical single sheet map of the buildings
at the tourist/exhibit center-Bolivar Hall) one really grows to
appreciate it more.
Be sure to locate the Cos House (La Villita St.) and the Little
Church of La Villita (508 La Villita St.)
William Area Many lovely old homes in this
neighborhood just on the south side of downtown. Within easy
walking distance. One home, open to the public is the 3 story Steves
Homestead built in 1876.
Of Architectural Interest
Old Ursuline Academy Now known as the Southwest
School of Art & Craft it provides for those interested in
architecture the first building of rammed earth. The only building
as such, to my knowledge, in San Antonio. Others are of
limestone. Built circa 1850
The old First National Bank 239 E.
Commerce. A great looking building, now law offices, built in
1886. If you dare, go inside. It's great.
Menger Hotel The hotel opened in 1859. It's
since been added to many times, but the original building still stands.
Jose Antonio Navarro House At 228 South Laredo
St. it is typical of homes built in the 1850s. House is a museum.
There are many other buildings which you won't be able to miss.
Almost all of them are simply something to look at and appreciate.