Popularity Contest Results

new year's 1912

Above, 1912 New Year’s card from Chapter Seventeen of An Ostrich-Plumed Hat

You have been judging my posts, as always, for the past six months, picking and choosing whatever piques your interest. For several years, the focus here has been on travel, relying on extensive use of photographs. Well, 2020 certainly cut short this blogger’s boulevardier ways, so, instead, I have “gifted” you with my novel about the sensational 19teens’ tale of the doomed relationship of Hedda Burgemeister and Otto Koehler. More than thirty chapters of An Ostrich-Plumed Hat, and, Yes, She Shot Him Dead are now posted on this site.

an ostrich-plumed hat

The good news is that more of you have clicked on the Introduction and Chapter One than any other post since July. The flip side is less flattering; there was a steep drop off in readership by Chapter Two. Numerous chapters ranked in the top dozen of this biannual roundup, but, for the sake of variety and not to encourage skipping around in the book the way I read Moby Dick in high school – every fifth chapter (Did I miss much?), I am omitting them from the list. Am hoping for some more feedback from you, my beta readers, as this release continues.

Beyond that, you seem to still appreciate my efforts at populating Brackenridge Park with ghosts, railing about whatever in the world is happening to Alamo Plaza and spinning tales from vagabond times. And perhaps you are looking for miracles ahead in 2021.

Continue reading “Popularity Contest Results”

Toast the Historical Assessment of the experts or mistrust the Alamo Trust?

alamo plaza buildings historical assessment

Above from left to right: The Crockett Block (1882); the Palace Theater (1923); and the Woolworth Building (1921) on the west side of the plaza facing the Alamo

Been dreading the arrival of the Historical Assessment of a trio of historic buildings on the west side of Alamo Plaza conducted by John G. Waite Associates for the Alamo Trust. My trust eroded by a dearth of information emanating from the Alamo during the past several years, I assumed the instructions given the architectural firm might have been skewed to doom them to the wrecking ball. But I must have been wrong.

The conclusions reached by the study are a dream come true for preservationists and proponents of adaptive reuse. The landmarks are viewed as prime for transformation into a visitor center and museum for the Alamo.

Continue reading “Toast the Historical Assessment of the experts or mistrust the Alamo Trust?”

Save the Crockett Block from the Alamo Wrecking Ball

Take TwoThis post originally appeared on this blog in January of 2016, but, on the eve of an extremely rare meeting of the Citizens Alamo Advisory Committee, it seems appropriate to reemphasize the historical importance of the Crockett Block. If you know someone on the committee (list here), please forward this to them. Scott Huddleston reports in the Express-News that access to the 9 a.m. September 30 meeting can be obtained: “Details about online access to view the meeting are posted on the city’s website, sanantonio.gov. under City Council & Committee Meeting Agendas.”

Alfred Giles (1853-1920) left England for Texas in 1873 for health reasons, according to historian Mary Carolyn Hollers George, author of The Architectural Legacy of Alfred Giles.

A page 1 article in the March 26, 1883, edition of the San Antonio Evening Light related that the young architect found few opportunities in Austin and was “in very reduced circumstances.” Continue reading “Save the Crockett Block from the Alamo Wrecking Ball”