Tuesday, September 29, 2009

San Antonio Neighborhoods, Old and New - Part 3: Alamo Heights

In the previous two posts I have explored the downtown neighborhood, King William, and the Mahncke Park area just north of downtown San Antonio.  This post will take us a little further north, to the municipality of Alamo Heights

History of Alamo Heights...
Alamo Heights began in the 1890's at a time when only dirt roads connected it with San Antonio.  At that time, the well-to-do in San Antonio lived south of Commerce Street.  By the early 1900's, building began in the area that attracted people of different income groups and ages.  As transportation improved, Alamo Heights grew as a desired residential community.  In 1922, in order to escape being annexed by San Antonio, the community leaders organized a vote to petition the current Bexar County judge for a city government.  At the time the population was about 3,000.  Building codes limited buildings to two stories, and provided for open spaces and greenery.  In 1927, Alamo Heights became the only municipality in the country with all paved streets!  

Life in Alamo Heights...
As of the 2000 census, there were over 7,000 residents of Alamo Heights.   Known as the '09ers because of their 78209 zip code, Alamo Heights residents are only two miles north of downtown, and many of the residents are white collar professionals, with the neighborhood's median family income at $86,000.  The city is full of old-fashioned charm, as well as recently built "McMansions" where the smaller bungalows have been torn down to make way for estate sized homes.  There are elegant restaurants, upscale clothing stores and boutiques and large retail centers.  The Alamo Quarry Market shopping center is an Alamo Heights mecca for dining, shopping and the movies, all in a structure that until 1983 was used to house a rock quarry and cement plant.  Nearby is the Quarry Golf Club, with an 18 hole, Par 71 golf course carved out of the 100 year old quarry.

Another Alamo Heights attraction is the McNay Art Museum at 6000 North New Braunfels. 

Built in 1928, the museum was originally a 24-room Spanish Colonial-Revival house built for Ohio-born heiress Marion Koogler McNay and her new husband, prominent ophthalmologist Donald T. Atkinson.  At her death in 1950, Mrs. McNay left her collection of more than 700 works of art, along with her house, surrounding 23 acres, and an endowment to establish the first museum of modern art in Texas. In 1954, the McNay opened its doors to the public.  Since that time the collection has expanded to nearly 20,000 works of art.

A gathering spot for locals in Alamo Heights is the HEB Central Market  grocery store on Broadway.  Traditional groceries blended with upscale pre-prepared foods, and full service bakery, meat market, seafood market, cooking school, ect., keeps 'em coming back for more.  Locals have nicknamed it the "Gucci B"!

Alamo Heights Real Estate Market...
Currently, there are 93 Alamo Heights homes on the market, ranging from a two bedroom, two bath cottage built in 1927 for $160,000 to a 5,352 square foot Mediterranean style home built in 2004 with an antique clay tile roof priced at $2,399,000.  While that is a rather large inventory of homes, there have already been 99 homes sold in Alamo Heights thus far in 2009.  Home sales have ranged from $40 per square foot to $347 per square foot, with the median price at $187 per square foot.  To get more information on Alamo Heights real estate, contact me at barbara@barbaralinick.com.

Currently in Alamo Heights...
The Alamo Heights ISD is celebrating their 100th birthday this year, and recently had a parade and bonfire as party of their annual Howdy Night neighborhood celebration.

Coming Soon...
All residents of Alamo Heights are invited to the first ever free Cinema Under the Stars on Saturday, Oct. 17 when the family-friendly, PG-rated movie “Fly Away Home” will begin at 7:00 P.M. at Alamo Heights High School's Practice Field on Castano, between the high school and the stadium.

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