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Historic Preservation Month: Killis Almond and Associates records

May 12, 2014

May is National Historic Preservation Month and we are taking this opportunity to highlight a few projects from one of our architectural collections.  Killis Almond Architects, PC, a private design firm specializing in historic preservation, rehabilitation, and cultural resource management, donated their records to UTSA in 2011.   The Killis Almond and Associates records have a considerable amount of material dealing with restoration and preservation regarding various structures in and outside of Texas. Two of the local buildings that the firm has been involved with include: 


San Antonio Little Theatre / San Pedro Playhouse

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San Pedro Playhouse, Zintgraff Studio Photograph Collection, MS 355

Sarah Barton Bindley began the troupe in 1912, the very first year of the Little Theatre Movement, and they performed in the living rooms of prominent locals. On January 22, 1930, the San Pedro Playhouse opened its doors for the performance of Ferenc Molnar’s, The Swan. There were as many horse drawn carriages as cars attending the performance that captured the attention of the New York theatre elite.  The troupe’s production quality inspired the City to build the impressive Greek-revival building that the troupe occupies to this day.  It is situated in the historic and picturesque San Pedro Springs Park.  The park is the second oldest municipal park in the nation, second only to Boston Commons, and the Playhouse is the oldest municipally built “Little Theatres” in America. The Playhouse’s resident troupe, and San Antonio’s oldest arts organization, is celebrating 100 years of theatre with its current Centennial Season.

Edward Steves Homestead

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Exterior of the Edward Steves Homestead, 1977, General Photograph Collection, MS 362

This elegant three-story mansion, located in the King William Historic District on the east bank of the San Antonio River, was built in 1876 for Edward Steves, founder of the Steves Lumber Company. Alfred Giles, prominent San Antonio architect, is thought to be the designer of the ashlar limestone structure which features a concave mansard roof with decorative iron cresting and exhibits characteristic of the French Second Empire and the Italian Villa styles. In 1952, the property was donated to the San Antonio Conservation Society by Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Vaughan in memory of her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Steves, and her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Steves. The Steves Homestead has been maintained since 1954 as a historic house museum.

 

The Killis Almond and Associates records collection spans over 300 linear feet, more than half of which are architectural plans. Also found in the collection are numerous historic structures and mitigation reports along with Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) certified drawings completed by the firm.  While the collection is unprocessed, a detailed inventory to the collection is available online.

 

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