Your portal to historic preservation in San Antonio.
February 2016
Message from the Director
Shanon Shea Miller, AICP

Happy Leap Day!

I can't believe spring is almost here. It feels like just yesterday that we were toasting to the new year! As you’ll see in this newsletter, there has been little time to shake off the holiday dust and we have “leaped” into 2016 with some exciting new programs.

In January, we launched two new initiatives – ScoutSA and the Rehabber Club. If you haven't seen the video for the Rehabber Club, then make sure to check it out! Through these two programs, we are looking forward to further engaging our community on the importance of historic preservation. Keep reading to find out how you can get involved!

This spring, we are excited to continue some of our most popular education and outreach programs. The S.T.A.R. (Students Together Achieving Revitalization) Project is heading to the Mission Historic District on April 2-3 and April 9-10. We can’t wait to bring neighborhood revitalization efforts to this important area of town. If your New Year’s resolution was to improve your fitness level, then don’t miss our first SApreservation 5k on March 5. Registration details below.

This year, the preservation community is celebrating several important milestones. The National Historic Preservation Act turns 50, and the National Parks Services turns 100 in 2016. Read more below and see what we're doing to participate.

There is much more to report, including kudos to our own Kay Hindes, and a big welcome to our newest team members, Jenny Hay and Kelsi Kiper. Please enjoy this edition of the SApreservation Portal and, as always, don’t hesitate to contact our office with any questions.

Cheers to a very productive 2016!


Commemorating 50 Years of  The National Historic Preservation Act
The National Historic Preservation Act is turning 50! Visit the website to read more about the legislation that transformed the nation’s communities.  
NPS is turning 100!

The centennial will kick off a second century of stewardship of America's national parks and engaging communities through recreation, conservation, and historic preservation programs. Find your park!
Celebrate with OHP!

Be sure to check out our events page to see how we will be celebrating all year long!
APTI Annual Conference

San Antonio is hosting The Association for Preservation Technology International's Annual Conference Oct. 30-Nov 2.
For more information >>
Upcoming OHP Events

Get outside, get fit, and enjoy our historic city with the SApreservation 5k series! Each event features a guided run / walk through some of San Antonio’s most historic locations. These are not timed events, and course length is approximate. Register for our next run or for the entire series:

March 5
San Antonio Water Works (Lions Field)

September 10
Monte Vista

October 29
Eastside Cemeteries

December 6
Holiday Lights

Visit our website or the registration page for more information.


This year as we continue to celebrate and respond to the World Heritage designation of our Spanish Colonial missions, we recognize the unique interweaving of cultures that has occurred here in San Antonio throughout history. It is something that has universal value across the globe, but has also defined our local character. For this year’s Preservation Month, we have selected the theme of "moSAic" to remind us that it is our rich and diverse heritage that makes San Antonio unique. Our heritage and built environment has been shaped by many different cultures, ideas, and traditions, and our local programs provide support and recognition for historic sites representing a wide range of cultures and values.

Planning is well underway for this year’s activities, and we’ll release the full calendar of events in the next month. Returning in 2016 is the Amazing Preservation Race. Early registration is now open until April 1.

Please contact Cory Edwards for more information on how to get involved or for sponsorship opportunities.

The Latest OHP News & Announcements

S.T.A.R. (Students Together Achieving Revitalization) will be in the Mission Historic District on April 2-3 and 9-10, and we are currently accepting applications for eligible homes in need of exterior repairs.

S.T.A.R. is an initiative by the Office of Historic Preservation in partnership with the UTSA College of Architecture, the Historic Preservation Association (HPA), San Antonio Colleges, and local contractors to provide minor exterior home repairs and maintenance to homeowners within local historic districts. Graduate and undergraduate architecture students assist property owners with repairs to windows and screens, siding, and porches, as well as provide general yard maintenance and exterior painting. This is a free service provided to eligible property owners. 

Homeowners can download an application from our website!

We’re always looking for sponsors and partners for the event. Lunch for both weekends, supplies and materials are typically things that are donated by sponsors. We’re also seeking volunteers!

For more information, contact our office at 210-215-9274 or e-mail


We started off 2016 by offering an online survey related to the design review process and the services provided by OHP. Thank you for your participation! Results of the survey can be viewed here.

OHP and the HDRC will take use this feedback to improve the services we provide to the community.


In an effort to expand the range of historic buildings to be considered eligible for State and Federal Historic Tax Credits (HTC’s), OHP initiated a survey of downtown properties in 2015. The result is a proposed district which includes 165 contributing buildings and 30 contributing structures and landscapes. Following the listing of the district in the National Register of Historic Places, contributing buildings will be eligible to receive State and Federal Historic Tax Credits for rehabilitation. Read more about this important economic development tool on our website

Parties that are interested in utilizing the credits now are encouraged to contact the Texas Historical Commission to initiate the process.

ScoutSA is an invitation to all to explore San Antonio and discover historic places or neighborhoods and celebrate the San Antonio experience that they represent.  Using technology and traditional methods, OHP Staff and community members can work together to identify, inventory, and document potential historic landmarks and districts. ScoutSA is a campaign that will be used to increase public awareness of the benefits of historic preservation and to expand the OHP survey of properties to Loop 410 and beyond.  Also, we’re excited to introduce a new mobile app that will provide a fun and convenient way to document your favorite places quickly and easily as part of the ScoutSA campaign.

Our goals are to grow awareness of the benefits of historic preservation to areas of town where potential resources are coming of age and to empower communities and encourage engagement. If you are interested in participating, contact Jenny Hay at or at
(210) 207-0166.

Rehabbers! We’ve got a spring and summer filled with educational, volunteering and networking events that will not only connect you with other rehabbers, but also the community! Regardless of whether you’re an experienced rehabber or someone looking to get started, we can help!  

Here’s a list of our tentative schedule for the next few months: 

March 31
Networking event at 430 Austin St.
5:30 – 7:30 PM

May 7
Rehabber Club work day in the Mission District

OHP Open House

Sustainability session
Increasing Your Rehab’s Sustainability

If you have any questions regarding Rehabber Club or want to know how you can get involved, please contact Edward Hall at


The list of  2016 Texas’ Most Endangered Places  represent cultural, architectural, and historic places that are at risk, and represent the types of sites that are endangered across Texas. Local grassroots organizations have been working tirelessly in support of these sites.  By including them on the list,  Preservation Texas  hopes to rally Texans statewide to step up and save them.

This year, two important landmarks in San Antonio have been included on the Most Endangered list. Read more at the Preservation Texas website.

The Woolworth Building
Confluence Theatre at Hemisfair


Throughout history, people have created and used maps to find places, to keep us from getting lost and to shape the boundaries of geographic space. For the last month, OHP has been conducting cultural mapping workshops with residents near the San Antonio Missions. 

Cultural maps, like geographic maps, tell us where we are, but they also tell us “who” we are. Residents of the Missions area tell us stories, draw maps about their stories, and provide us with photographs and other mementos. The maps we are working on are intended to tell our cultural story, in particular the intangible heritage that led to our World Heritage designation. We will continue collecting stories and documenting them in maps for months to come. 

If you have a story you would like to map with us or photographs you’d like to share, please contact Claudia Guerra, Cultural Historian, by email. We are interested in mapping San Antonio’s complete cultural story, not just the Missions area, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. For more details about the work done so far, please read our blog.
Example of a Cultural Map
2015 Economic Impact Study of Historic Preservation in Texas
A recent University of Texas and Rutgers University economic impact study revealed some surprising facts about the significant benefits of historic preservation efforts in the Lone Star State. For more, read the full economic impact report (PDF) and corresponding technical analysis (PDF). The Texas Historical Commission leads official state efforts to encourage and incentivize historic preservation projects and heritage tourism. For more information visit


New Frontiers Charter School recently recognized OHP as an Educational Community Champion, for our ongoing partnership and generosity that has enriched opportunities for their students.

OHP partnered with NFCS during Preservation Month in 2015. The Festival of the Arts event celebrated our cultural heritage with an art showcase of NFCS students’ work. It featured works from our project, Make your Marker, as well as opportunity for us to collect oral histories. The event was a huge success, with close to 200 people attending.

This spring we are co-hosting another event with New Frontiers Charter School and also with Sarah King Elementary. We are using a mobile web application which supports the ScoutSA campaign to allow students to participate in the effort of identifying important places in San Antonio. Students can identify places that mean something to them in relation to Family, Community, and Culture. A few submissions will be recognized at the festivals at both schools. The New Frontiers Charter School event will be Friday, May 20th, and Sarah King Elementary will host an event on May 26th. 


On January 22nd, our office hosted training for realtors to educate them on our review process, historic construction, financing historic homes, and marketing historic homes. The event was made possible by Jean-Marie Warren of Primelending, Lynn Knapik Real Estate and the Department of Culture & Creative Development, who hosted the event in the historic Plaza de Armas. Those realtors who attended received 6 MCE hours and became Historic House Specialists. Our presenters included OHP staff, detailing the OHP review process and the importance of historic preservation. Sue Ann Pemberton of Mainstreet Architects spoke about historic home construction and details about the benefits of using historic materials. Jean-Marie educated realtors on the financing available and the process involved in buying a rehab project. The course ended with Lynn Knapik’s presentation on how to market homes in historic districts and details about the good schools available in those areas. 

We host this Historic House Specialist training once a year. If you have any questions about next year’s event, please call us at 210-215-9274. 

Staff Announcements
Congratulations, Kay!
City Archaeologist  Kay Hindes was recently appointed by THC Commissioner John Nau as a professional advisor to the Texas Historical Commission. In this role, Kay will provide expert counsel on archaeology-related issues across the state. We are proud to have her as part of the OHP team!
  Jenny Hay, PhD
Senior Management Analyst

Jenny Hay, PhD is a historical geographer with a background in community outreach, advocacy, and digital humanities. Originally from Luling, Texas, Jenny earned degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and Texas State University-San Marcos before pursuing a doctorate in Geography & Anthropology at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Her research explored questions related to resilience, heritage tourism, and historic preservation in cities across the southern United States. Jenny’s career pursuits have varied from implementing housing grants in rural Texas counties to managing the aerial photography collection at the LSU Map Library to opening a small museum in northwestern Louisiana. She also participated in disaster response operations for Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, as well as the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in 2010. Most recently, Jenny served as an intern and contractor for the National Center for Preservation Technology & Training in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and as Preservation Outreach Manager for the San Antonio Conservation Society. In her free time, Jenny enjoys volunteering with LOOP (Leadership Organization Of Professionals) and camping in Texas State Parks with her spouse, Dustin, and their dog, Kevin. 

Kelsi Kiper
Executive Secretary

Kelsi Kiper joins the OHP team with a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from UTSA. After graduating, she moved to East Texas and spent 3 years teaching art, creative writing and general education in high risk schools. In 2012, she had the opportunity to move to New York City, where she lived until June 2015. Kelsi and her fiancé, Noah, have recently moved back to San Antonio.  In her free time, she enjoys hiking, traveling, cooking, hunting for vintage pieces, live music, art & film. 

Help us preserve San Antonio's history by getting involved with the Office of Historic Preservation! You can volunteer to become a tour guide, help us with historic surveys, or participate in many fun community events. There is also the opportunity to get hands-on experience in minor repair and maintenance of historic properties with our S.T.A.R. program and Preservation Day events. Click on this link to fill out a Volunteer Application Form to become a City of San Antonio volunteer.

Under the City Department box make sure to check Office of Historic Preservation.
Office of Historic Preservation
1901 S. Alamo, San Antonio, TX 78204  |  210.215.9274  |  210.207.0199 (fax)