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


The party has just begun – 11 days of celebrating our city’s diverse culture and heritage. Here at OHP, we’re preparing for another celebration. May is National Preservation Month and we are kicking it off with our 4th Annual Cool Crest Mini-Golf Tournament. Today is the LAST DAY to get in on early bird pricing, so get registered! May will be filled with great events celebrating Preservation Month so be sure to check our events calendar and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for updates. 

OHP is also partnering with the National Park Service to help celebrate their Centennial in 2016. Join us for History and Genealogy Day on Saturday, April 23, at Mission San Jose. We encourage you to "Find Your Park" during National Park Week (April 16-24), and there is a 3-day preservation workshop running May 23-26 at Mission San Jose as part of Preservation Month.  

The City of San Antonio is also celebrating our new World Heritage Director, Colleen Swain. Colleen is no stranger to the San Antonio Missions – she grew up on the Southside, attended St. Leo’s Elementary School, and her maternal grandparents lived in a house near Mission San Jose. We look forward to working with Colleen on future projects that benefit the World Heritage area.

We are also pleased to welcome our new Historic Building Enforcement Code Officer, Branden Dross. Branden is going to be an excellent resource for historic district residents. The procedure for reporting a violation is the same Just call Branden at 210-215-9274 with any concerns.

As you can see, there is not shortage of things to celebrate, and we wouldn't have it any other way. We hope to see you at one of our great events during May's Preservation Month. Have a safe and happy Fiesta!


for Early Bird Prices for Cool Crest!
$15 per person/$60 for team of 4.
(Regular pricing - $25 per person/$100 for team of 4.)
May is Preservation Month!

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.

The list of events is growing, so be sure to check our events calendar often for more information and registration details.

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

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 >>
The Latest OHP News & Announcements
On April 1st, Colleen Swain took the helm as the first World Heritage Director. Since 2001, Colleen has been an Assistant Director in both the Center City Development and Operations Department and the Downtown Operations Department, and she has been responsible for the downtown incentives programs, La Villita, Market Square, Spanish Governors Palace, and the redevelopment of Travis Park.  In addition, Colleen developed the award winning “OPEN” program which helps to activate underutilized storefronts with pop up shops. As the World Heritage Director, Colleen is responsible for planning, directing, managing, and overseeing activities involving the coordination of World Heritage related projects. 

Visit the San Antonio World Heritage web site for more news and information. 


Launching ScoutSA in January opened a new chapter for OHP, celebrating the people, places, and traditions that make our city unique through engaging programs and innovative technology. As a Scout, you can help us keep what matters in San Antonio! Like Sherlock’s magnifying glass, Galileo’s telescope, Marie Curie’s electrometer, Russel’s Wilderness Explorer GPS, or the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver, the Discovery mobile app is your guide to exploring the city. In less than 1 minute, you can send us a story, photo, and location using your smartphone. Is there an iconic building that you always see on your way to school or work? What about a favorite park where your kids love to play? Maybe your family has watched the Fiesta Flambeau in the same place for 30 years, or you’ve made tamales together in December for as long as you can remember. Together, these stories capture the people, places, and traditions that create authentic San Antonio. 

Here are a few of the stories you’ve shared so far:


Norma A. shared this great photo of a paletero, or ice cream salesman, on S Presa St! Buying paletas after school is a tradition that is part of the cultural landscape of San Antonio. Norma also pointed out that this tradition is related to Mexican-American cultural identity. 
Sunset on Good Friday

Lauren told us about a religious tradition: attending the Good Friday service in downtown San Antonio. She caught the reflection of the sunset on a picture window framed by a cool geometric screen. 
Hannibal Pianta's Workshop

Adam V. told us that the building at 300 Fredericksburg Road matters to him! Here, master craftsman Hannibal Pianta, an Italian immigrant, produced the decorative columns, cartouches, and crests that are seen today at places like the Majestic Theatre and Jefferson High School. 
Event Recaps


It was a beautiful day on Saturday, March 5, as we kicked off our 2016 SApreservation 5k series. Over 50 runners and walkers enjoyed the first guided tour of the season which explored San Antonio Water Works at Brackenridge Park. Our friends at Fleet Feet Sports led everyone in some simple stretching before heading out. Members of the Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) staff and other volunteers gave tours of the area in and around Brackenridge Park, where many remnants of the 19th century water works remain. In addition to exploring the history of the River, participants learned more about some of the historic features in the park, including Joske Pavilion, the Berlin Iron Bridge, and the Donkey Barn.

Lynn Osborne Bobbit, Executive Director of the Brackenridge Park Conservancy, was on hand to talk about three other stops on the tour: Miraflores (1921-1930), the Upper Labor Acequia and raceway for the pump house, and the Faux Bois Bridge. Amanda Gangawer, San Antonio Parks Foundation, welcomed runners and walkers to the Japanese Tea Garden (1917) and gave a brief history of the Garden.

Each event in the 5k series 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:

September 10
Monte Vista

October 29
Eastside Cemeteries

December 6
Holiday Lights

Visit our website or the registration page for more information.


Our semi-annual STAR event took place over the weekend of April 9 and 10 in the Mission Historic District, where volunteers from all walks of life banded together to make minor exterior repairs to five homes: 3219 and 3238 Mission Rd, 9143 and 9518 Espada Rd and 519 Hansford. Over 50 volunteers, including students from UTSA and San Antonio College, local contractors and members of the community participated in this event. Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran addressed the volunteers on Saturday, April 9, thanking them for their commitment and hard work. Check out the story that aired on KSAT-12!

We look forward to bringing STAR back to the Mission Historic District this Fall, when we will work on up to 20 homes. Please keep a look out for further information, or call OHP at (210) 215-9274 for more information. 

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
Staff Announcements

Branden Dross is the new Historic Building Enforcement Officer. He has been with the City of San Antonio for almost a year as a Code Compliance Investigator with Development Services. Before that, he worked for the City of Balcones Heights as an intern in the City Manager’s office. He is currently a full time student at UTSA and will graduate this May with a bachelors degree in Public Administration with a minor in Political Science. Branden is a huge baseball fan and love to read books on urban political administration and city planning.

 Did you Know?
Hail damage?  

Did you know that common repairs to damage caused by hail are considered repair and maintenance and in most cases can be approved by OHP Staff?

Repair and maintenance requests, such as glass replacement and roof replacement with like material, does not require review by the HDRC. There is no application fee for residential properties.  For your convenience, you can submit your application online.

For more information about Administrative Approvals,  contact OHP at 210-215-9274 or email us at

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.
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Office of Historic Preservation
1901 S. Alamo, San Antonio, TX 78204  |  210.215.9274  |  210.207.0199 (fax)