October 11, 2018

Sights to See: San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, Texas


San Antonio Museum of Art  200 W. Jones Ave., (210) 978-8100.  Tu & F 10am-9pm, W, Thur, Sat, Sun 10am-5pm.  $15, 65+ $12, under 13 free; free Tu 4pm-9pm & Sun 10am-noon.
          San Antonio is a master at reworking old factories and industrial buildings into museums and living spaces.  This slick museum was once the circa 1884 Lone Star Brewery complex.  To efficiently tour its two wings, start on the ground floor of one and work your way up to the top floor, then cross over to the other wing and work your way down.  Be sure to use the trippy glass elevator situated in the center.  The museum is known for its Latin American Art Center and Asian Art wing.  Collection highlights include a painted gourd Crane that was one of Nelson Rockefeller’s favorites, a collection of animal mummies, and a colorful Chihuly blown-glass flower ceiling similar to the gigantic one that is displayed in the lobby of the Bellagio casino hotel in Las Vegas.

painted gourd Crane at San Antonio Museum of Art in San Antonio, Texas
painted gourd Crane at San Antonio Museum of Art in San Antonio, Texas



falcon mummy at San Antonio Museum of Art in San Antonio, Texas
falcon mummy at San Antonio Museum of Art in San Antonio, Texas



Chihuly ceiling at San Antonio Museum of Art in San Antonio, Texas
Chihuly ceiling at San Antonio Museum of Art in San Antonio, Texas


  You can walk to or from here easily from The Pearl via the River Walk pathway.  It take about 10 minutes.  On the way you’ll view more art installations.  On the west side of the river, “The Grotto,” by Carlos Cortes (2009), consists of a cave-like installation with water falls and a hidden grotesque face.  A school of fish also enhances the walk.





hanging school of fish on the River Walk near the San Antonio Museum of Art in San Antonio, Texas
hanging school of fish on the River Walk near the San Antonio Museum of Art in San Antonio, Texas


More things to do in San Antonio.

Great ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

images and video ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

October 9, 2018

Sights to See: King William Historic District, San Antonio, Texas


King William Historic District  122 Madison St., (210) 227-8786.  Free.   Located on the south bank of the San Antonio River, the sprawling King William Historic District is filled with 19th-century residences.  Many have been preserved, and some have been transformed into cafes, art galleries, museums, and shops.  It was originally settled by prominent German merchants who brought with them a distinct architectural style, and in the late 1800s this district was the most elegant residential area in the city.  It is now zoned as the state's first historic district and remains a fashionable neighborhood.

The Guenther House  205 E. Guenther St., (210) 227-1061.  Built in 1859 as the home for the founder of Pioneer Flour Mills, this stone house opened in 1988 as a museum and restaurant.  The flour mill is still in business today and operates across the street, which makes it the country’s longest continually family-owned and -operated mill.

Pioneer Flour Mills in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas
Pioneer Flour Mills in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas


Guenther House Restaurant  Daily 7am-3pm.  The restaurant's main dining room here was added to the house later and is known as the Tea Room.  Another interior room and an expansive outdoor patio are also available.  Locals especially like to come here for the breakfast items, which are served all day.  Favorites include a strawberry waffle and buttermilk biscuits with sausage gravy.  Among the pastries is a very big cinnamon roll.  Sandwiches include a club and a BLT with cheddar that--in true Texas style--is mostly apple-wood smoked bacon.  A taco salad and chicken enchiladas are also on the menu.  Items are made with flour milled at the founder’s original flour mill.

Guenther House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

dining room at Guenther House Restaurant in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas
dining room at Guenther House Restaurant in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas


lunch entrees at Guenther House Restaurant in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas
lunch entrees at Guenther House Restaurant in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas


Guether House Museum  Free.  A self-guided tour of this small house is available when the restaurant is open.  The museum is in the house’s original library.  It displays mill memorabilia, including antique baking accessories, cookie cutters, and some Dresden-made and American-made china plates that were given to customers as premiums.

library at Guenther House Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas
library at Guenther House Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas


San Antonio River Mill Store  (800) 235-8186.  M-Sat 8am-4pm, Sun 8am-3pm.  This shop is well stocked with enticing kitchen items.  Selections include housemade preserves and a variety of mixes for items made in the restaurant, including biscuits, waffles, and cornbread.

baking mix in San Antonio River Mill Store at Guenther House Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas
baking mix in San Antonio River Mill Store at Guenther House Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas


dessert plate in San Antonio River Mill Store at Guenther House Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas
dessert plate in San Antonio River Mill Store at Guenther House Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas

Edward Steves Homestead Museum  509 King William St., (210) 227-9160.  Daily 10am-3:30pm.  $10, 65+ $7.50, under 12 free; $5/person for guided tour.  When Edward Steves opened his first lumberyard in San Antonio in 1866, he lived in a modest little house.  About 10 years later he made the big move up to this grand Victorian period home with a French mansard roof.  It cost him $12,500 then, but is worth about  $4,500,000 now.  The family’s lumber business is still going strong, but they no longer are affiliated with this house.  Restored to its original grandeur, it has many furnishings that are original to the house (you can see more in the Witte Museum).  With 13-inch-thick limestone walls and 14-foot-high ceilings, the temperature inside is naturally cool.  The house has no fireplaces but does have a wood-burning stove in every room.  Unusual for the time period is that the house had running water and built-in closets, and one particularly noteworthy architectural feature is a set of oversize pocket doors with ornate glass.  It is interesting to note that back in the day the neighborhood kids visited to skate on the attic’s wood floor (the attic is not accessible to visitors).  Out buildings beside the river include the servants quarters (now the visitor center), a wash house, a small carriage house, and a natatorium (indoor pool) built in 1910 that is now boarded over.

exterior of Edward Steves Homestead Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas
exterior of Edward Steves Homestead Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas


hedge maze at Edward Steves Homestead Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas
hedge maze at Edward Steves Homestead Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas


interior stairwell at Edward Steves Homestead Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas
interior stairwell at Edward Steves Homestead Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas


bedroom at Edward Steves Homestead Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas
bedroom at Edward Steves Homestead Museum in King William Historic District of San Antonio, Texas


More things to do in San Antonio.

Great ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers