It Happened at the Historic Homeowner Fair!

I’ve never been to another city where three councilmen have been at an old house fair, and the mayor said something. That’s a big deal, that’s a big deal! It speaks to the understanding that this city has to why preservation matters – and you guys get it. -Brent Hull

San Antonio’s admirable preservation ethic was on display at the 2016 Historic Homeowner Fair, hosted in a new location at the Pearl! The Pearl Stable and San Antonio Area Foundation allowed the Fair to grow to accommodate an expanded Exhibitor Hall and additional educational sessions. Here are just a few highlights from this year’s fair!

 Keynote Address 812a2738

I see houses as stories. I see buildings and architecture as stories that tell us about who lived there, that tell us about what took place, that tell us about their technology. -Brent Hull

Brent Hull, owner of Hull Historical and star of the new Lone Star Restoration show on History, delivered the keynote address at the 2016 Fair. His talk centered on craft and craftsmanship, emphasizing the incredible ability of historic homes to speak through their materials and design.

 This is a pep talk! I am here to encourage you to fight for your houses and fight for those historic details and pieces that matter. -Brent Hull

Brent shared examples of successes and failures in restoration projects, reminding us all that preservation is a process that requires constant care and attention be paid to our historic resources. From proper maintenance to complex restorations, his stories highlighted the challenges and triumphs that are possible with a little ingenuity and a strong grounding in preservation best practices.

812a2646There is a precision, a quality, and a science to craft that is often forgotten today, and is often lost today. -Brent Hull

In a world that tends to celebrate installations of mass produced front doors and updated lighting fixtures, Brent encouraged us to spend a little extra time celebrating the form and function of well-preserved historic features. His respect for craftsmanship informs his work and his show, where he reveals the intrinsic value of handmade, master-crafted, elements of our historic homes!

 Session Tracks

Wondering what happens to all those comment cards you filled out after an event? Turns out, we read them! Many of you asked for more opportunities to learn about related topics after 2014 and 2015 Fair, and we listened! In 2016, we organized the sessions into four tracks, so that you could decide how to schedule your day full of events relevant to your interests. This year’s topics included Sustainability, Dollars & Sense, ScoutSA, and Rehabber Club. Based on our survey after the fair, most of you decided to mix & match and attended sessions in several different tracks. We plan to have even better options for you at the 2017 Fair! Additionally, every session was filmed and will be made available online in case you missed one!

Bigger & Better! img_1253

You might have noticed that this year’s event had a few extras – extra vendors, extra sessions, and extra giveaways! We brought the Exhibit Hall into the Pearl Stable, allowing us to fit even more organizations, suppliers, contractors, and other great vendors inside. Was there something that you thought was missing in the Exhibit Hall? Email us at and let us know – we will have even more room in 2017! Since San Antonio boasts such a diversity of historic neighborhoods, homes, and other landmarks, it can be challenging to find the resources that fit the specific needs of your project or property. We hope that this year’s new sessions, including topics like window insulation and a hands-on demonstration by Brent Hull, helped answer your questions. If there are topics we didn’t cover that are relevant to you, please be sure to reach out to us at We’re already planning for 2017 so we need your feedback now!

In 2016, over 800 people from over 80% of the zip codes in Bexar County attended the Fair. We hope you’re already making plans to attend the 2017 Historic Homeowner Fair!



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