ScoutSA, our comprehensive survey and designation initiative, is so much more than just a traditional building inventory. From discovering the stories of mid-century San Antonio to exploring the city’s past at Siclovia and celebrating new landmarks, ScoutSA made 2016 a year to remember!
Thanks to the new Discovery App, all surveys in San Antonio are now collected digitally on mobile devices like phones and tablets. This allows you to tell us what matters to you – and one neighborhood took this challenge seriously. The Woodlawn Addition neighborhood, located north of Woodlawn Avenue between Zarzamora Street and Martinez Creek, is being surveyed by the people who live there! Although the survey isn’t finished yet, residents hope to put together an application for a new historic district using the information collected through the Discovery App. Other surveys in progress include the St. Cecilia neighborhood and a thematic survey of mid-century modern resources along the Fredericksburg Road corridor. Both of these surveys are volunteer-led, with the help of the San Antonio Conservation Society. Interested in surveying your neighborhood? Contact jenny hay at 210-207-0166 or jenny(at)sapreservation.com!
In addition to discovering historic resources across our city, ScoutSA encourages you to explore the stories of the past that are all around us. In 2016, we took a look at the history of filling stations in San Antonio. In the process, we learned that our city has an incredibly dense collection of these vernacular sites! Learn more about these important buildings and San Antonio’s role in the development of the gasoline industry here.
ScoutSA also hosted a special track of sessions at this year’s Historic Homeowner Fair. From the importance of preservation to the benefits of designation, and from new historic districts to World Heritage, these sessions focused on exploring the heritage of our city. Read more about the Historic Homeowner Fair here, and find out how you can watch these sessions if you missed this year’s event!
Arguably the most important tenet of ScoutSA is to celebrate the stories and heritage of San Antonio! Celebrations can take many forms, but let’s focus on just one for now: designation. Designation not only helps protect our historic resources, but also showcases them to the world as sites with important stories to tell. This year, three new historic landmarks were designated as part of the Con Safo program. Additionally, the Office of Historic Preservation received three applications for new historic districts. The Historic & Design Review Commission will hear the case for the Tobin Hill North Historic District on December 21. The other two are still collecting responses, and will be scheduled for hearings when they reach 51% of properties in support of initiating the designation process. Want to learn more about the history of these neighborhoods and the process to become a historic district? You can find all that on our Historic Districts page.
Looking to the Future
Next year promises to be full of new adventures for ScoutSA. In January we’ll launch the new Discovery Challenge, a game for the whole family that only requires a smart phone and a little brain power to find our hidden checkpoints at local historic sites! Watch our Facebook page to find out when you can start playing – and until then, be sure to tag your photos and videos of historic resources in San Antonio with #ScoutSA! We might share them on our social media too!