Do you currently live on the Westside of San Antonio? Maybe you grew up in a Westside neighborhood, but have since moved away. Or maybe you’re one of many San Antonio citizens who are concerned that culturally significant Westside neighborhoods and structures are continually overlooked with regards to historic preservation. If you fit any of these descriptions, you have somewhere to be at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning.
Join the City of San Antonio’s Office of Historic Preservation as they kick off a Cultural Resource Survey of the city’s historic Westside. The OHP needs input from citizens to identify places that are culturally important to the Westside community, and they are calling for community members to help generate interest in the preservation of these significant places.
The survey kick-off event is free and open to the public, and participants are asked to bring their images, stories, and memories of Westside places that matter to them. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, February 26, at the Mexican American Unity Council Building’s Community Room, 2300 W. Commerce. The event will feature speakers and breakout sessions with representatives from the Westside Development Corporation, the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, the Westside Historic Preservation Group, the San Antonio Conservation Society, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, among others.
“We didn’t just want to find ourselves fighting [demolition] one building at a time,” said Graciela Sanchez, director of the Esperanza. “We wanted to help create policy and conciencia
through the community there in the Westside, but also in the larger city of San Antonio concerning the importance of historic preservation in that neighborhood. We have preserved so many other buildings and neighborhoods, especially in District 1, Alta Vista, Monte Vista, Tobin Hill, King William, and Lavaca, but the working class communities kind of get ignored.”
Sanchez says the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center has been trying to get community members engaged in setting policy for historic preservation and anti-gentrification for the Westside for a couple years, and is grateful that the OHP has taken on additional responsibilities with the survey.
“Besides coming to share something with the city leaders and people with the Office of Historic Preservation, it will be an opportunity for people from the community to learn about what other resources are out there and how they can learn to take care of the treasures they have,” said Sanchez.
For more information on the survey, contact Elizabeth Porterfield at the Office of Historic Preservation at (210) 207-3327.