The Oldest Houses in San Antonio
We all know that the current housing marketing in San Antonio is booming, but what about houses from the past? The fact that San Antonio is home to a number of historically significant houses should come as no surprise considering the city’s rich history. Here are a few of our favorite old homes and the stories behind them.
The L. B. Clegg House
The L. B. Clegg House was built by the founder of the San Antonio Printing Company, Luther Bynum Clegg. Clegg commissioned the architect Harvey Page to design the house sometime time in 1901. The house has been sold twice in its history. First to Roy M. Beitel, who lost the home in the middle of the 1929 stockmarket crash. After this, the house was used as a small hospital until it was sold to Josephine Henning. A member of the Henning family still owns the property to this day, and it was added as a historic landmark in Texas history in 1978.
Emil Elmendorf House
Emil Elmendorf was a business leader in San Antonio who helped found the hardware firm Elmendorf and Co. In 1884, Elmendorf hired the noted architect Alfred Giles to design his residence. The home combined a Greek Revival aesthetic with Victorian styling, and is one of the few remaining raised cottage houses in the city.
The Guenther House
Before the Guenther House became a restaurant and museum, it was the primary home of Carl Hilmar Guenther. Guenther is most famous as the founder of the Pioneer Flour Mills, a wheat and corn operations that served local residents. After moving to San Antonio in 1859, Guenther began construction on one of the first homes ever built in the King William District. The museum, gift shop and restaurant are open to the public every day.
The Ethel Wilson Harris House
Compared to some of the other houses on our list, The Ethel Wilson House isn’t that old. Built in 1956, the home was designed by Ethel Harris’ son, Robert, and is notable not only for Harris’ artwork but for the unique architecture. The two-story home is inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian style and features “flowing spaces, high ceilings, and borrowed light openings”.
Built in 1881, the Pershing House was another home designed by the architect Alfred Giles. The home was constructed to be used as housing for army personnel at the Fort Sam Houston Army post. Many notable Fort Sam Houston commandants lived at Pershing House at one point or another, but the home is currently named after John J. Pershing, the general who lead the American Expeditionary Forces to victory over Germany in WWI.