Sunday, October 30, 2016

Highlands Christian Church

There is a church on the corner by my house - made of limestone - the original name and build date of the church was a mystery. Nina and I got used to calling it the Beat Down Church ... the sad looking sign on the corner has it named "Clift of the Rock".. the church needs a powerwash in the worst way. I knew it had to have some kind of history because it is a substantial looking building .. limestone, stained glass, arched windows all that stuff. Thanks to the Historic Homeowners Fair sponsored by the City of San Antonio I was able to use an 1954 City Directory to lookup the the original church name - Highlands Christian Church ... Finally, I have a research hook.

October of 1951 was the groundbreaking - Roy D. Holt was the first Reverend of the church at this location.

Will N. Noonan was the architect : He built out some of the Monte Vista homes of the 1930's. He also designed a home for A.H. Wilde in 1933 , the N. stands for Nelson, he was born in 1885

April 2 1950 San Antonio Express
Riverside Baptist Church
3600 S. Presa
Plans are drawn

The Harlandale Masonic Lodge went up in 1925 and is still standing ... it was ugly to start with and has only gotten uglier ... amazing that its still around ..

Dia de los Muertos

Its Dia de los Muertos - a time when Mexican family's create alters dedicated to family members who have passed.  This year I inherited a package of love letters sent between my grandfather and grandmother in 1925.   They both grew up in 1920s San Antonio, Texas and the letters reflect a courtship in English and Spanish.  He had great grammar and a lovely script style (he graduated from Brackenridge High School),  her handwriting is not as precise (I think she left school at 7th or 8th grade) and is so pleased to have a suitor.  They were together over 50 years.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Otto Linnartz

I have spent the last couple of days hunting down the Linnartz Home. Otto Linnartz was a manager/executive/owner lumberman for the PETRICH SAUR Lumber Co. He lived on South Street for a while and relocated to Avant when Highland Park was newly developed. Finding the location of this house was a little more complicated than the other searches I have done. I found the advertisement first while I was looking up a totally different house in Inverness (the neighborhood just south of Steves). As newspapers in 1920's San Antonio had no concept of privacy, I thought it would be easy to pop in Mrs. Otto Linnartz and find the bridge club or singing troupe or temperance society meeting with the address. It turns out that Mrs. Linnartz only showed up at other people's parties ... she never threw her own. So I had to revert to another way to track down Otto and family. I used the Bexar County Clerk's website and searched the historical records for Otto Linnartz as a grantee of a deed of trust in 1924. I found the pdf only after I asked a good friend with Internet Explorer to perform the search. It turns out that the Bexar County Clerk's office used a contractor named Landata and the bid was completely oblivious to the world of browsers, the website only works for Internet Explorer. That piece of crap application crashed three different browsers on my Mac ... Firefox, Safari and Opera all crapped out when I went to get the pdf.

The pdf of the deed of trust listed the neighborhood / block and tract numbers for the property. Here is where I had to get crafty. With the numbers off of the deed I want into the bcad (Bexar County Appraisal) search engine and looked up a property I knew was in the neighborhood. That lookup gave me the neighborhood number. What I wanted was the geographic ID ... so using the neighborhood number I used the map search interface of the BCAD and turned on the GEO-ID layer under the parcels option. I started scanning through the neighborhood looking for a block and tract number that matched the ones on the deed and sure enough ... I found the street and bounding block. I then switched over to google maps street view and walked the street until I found the house that matched the picture of the Highland Park advertisement. I also pumped in the geo-id into the Bexar County Appraisal District search engine and did a sanity check for the street number and name and valuation of the house.

View Historic Highland Park San Antonio Homes in a larger map

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Screen Overlays In Google Maps

I have been playing around with screen overlays as a method of dealing with legends and branding. I found that My Maps does not support the kml elements you need for screen overlays or folders, but it is possibe to have an server host the kml files with the tag and the tag. Because I am cheap, I use google sites to hold all my files. I offload my kml and images on the files of a bogus endpoint I create in mySites.

you can offload your mayMap kml file by adding &output=kml to the http call on the page that shows your map.

I used this sample file I found on the google map forum. And used it as a template for the asian_overlay kml file.

I edited and reset the namespace and the tags from my My Maps kml .. and added folders too cuz I thought it made the map more comprehensible. I used a standard text editor to add the elements.

old namespace:

new namespace:
<kml xmlns="">

and I threw in an atom tag for good measure:

< atom:link href="" >

In the screen overlay entry I pointed to a png file I wanted to use.

<overlayXY x="0" y="-1" xunits="fraction" yunits="fraction"/>
<screenXY x="0" y="0" xunits="fraction" yunits="fraction"/>
<rotationXY x="0" y="0" xunits="fraction" yunits="fraction"/>
<size x="0" y="0" xunits="fraction" yunits="fraction"/>

Once the files were uploaded to mysite. I created a url based on the template:,-98.5011&sspn=29.5301,29.4027,-98.3586,-98.6563&z=10&om=1

where the sspan parameters are in the following order:
newGLatLng(map.getBounds().getNorthEast().lat() − map.getBounds().getSouthWest().lat(),map.getBounds().getNorthEast().lng() − map.getBounds().getSouthWest().lng()).toUrlValue()

the %2F is actually an escape code for a / .. so this would be the html path to your new and shiny kml file. From here you can grab a link or the embed code and you are off to the races.

Some elements may need tweaking: the ll and spn elements may need tweaking on your embed to center on the elements you wish to capture on the map.

View Larger Map The nowcast gif is gone -- a reorganization of hosting

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Historical Dignowity Hill

View Dignowity Hill San Antonio in a larger map

All I have is a couple of maps today. I have a much more nuanced appreciation of the central city after all of the reading and mapping and research.

Here is a map of Cruz Ortiz's favorite haunts on the East Side. I actually met one of the co-founders of Sew-Delux and have not had a chance to check out the place. Its on the list ... the list is crazy long and includes a fishing trip to Mission County Park.

View Cruz Ortiz's East Town love in a larger map

I love driving to the west side on Steves Avenue ... from Steves its an easy little jaunt to the river and the Blue Star. I also love using Nolan to hook up to McCullough and San Pedro (okay okay really I mean the Luby's on Main ... Nina loves the jello and I love the ladies in the Sunday hats) ... no trains on Nolan and a fast entry to downtown w/o getting on the freeway.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Highland Park Car Line

The convergence of the history of the neighborhood and the streetcar line.

San Antonio Express News March 12, 1911