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It was a landmark to us ...


Goodnight, Mr. Bricks.
And there goes another downtown landmark. Of course, none of us young whippersnappers knew there was a landmark under that '60s-era tin facade until the Historic Preservation & Design office made the current owners (American Payroll Association, we think) tear down the big panels so that the city could appreciate what lies beneath: a beautiful 1929 facade of molded plaster medallions and big windows. The building, at 131 San Pedro, was built for the Jorrie Furniture Company.

According to Ann Benson McGlone, soon to leave her post as Preservation Officer to oversee community development in Alamo Heights, when the owners came to the City with a demo request, her office asserted that the building, designed by Aztec Theatre and Landa Library architects Kelwood Company, might have historic potential. They responded by hiring a lobbyist, who went straight to former Planning head Emil Moncivais. Moncivais, says McGlone, signed off on the building's demise on his way out the door, skirting HDRC review and any chance for public input.

We're hopeless optimists. The facade was still standing when we stopped by, and we have a call in to the owners to see if perchance they're planning a Texas theatre/Watermark (without the latter's collapse) shell preservation. Look for more in Wednesday's Queque.

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