King William Historic District
The King William Historic District is located south of downtown and bordered by Durango, South St. Mary’s, Eagleland and the San Antonio River. The district encompasses land that was once irrigated farmland belonging to the Mission San Antonio de Valero, commonly known as the Alamo.
When the mission was secularized in 1793, the lands were divided among the resident Indian families from the mission or sold at public auction. In the 1860s the area was subdivided into lots and laid out with the present streets. It was about this time in the mid-nineteenth century that a great many Germans, who had immigrated to Texas in the 1840s, began to settle in this area and it became known as "Sauerkraut Bend" to the rest of San Antonio. In the early 1900s, the King William area began to wane as a fashionable neighborhood, and by 1920, many of the original home builders had died and their children moved to other parts of San Antonio. During the 1930s and 1940s the neighborhood declined. Many of the fine old homes were converted into apartments and only a few of the earlier settlers remained. In 1968, the King William neighborhood became San Antonio's first designated historic district. In 1972, King William was listed as a National Register Historic District and was expanded in 1984 to include the area of more modest late 19th and early 20th century homes between S. Alamo and S. St. Mary's Streets. On the south bank of the San Antonio River, residences have been preserved and often reincarnated into cafes, art galleries, museums and shops.