King empire

King William’s historic mansion sold by the Conservation Society

The Conservation Society of San Antonio sold the Steve’s Farma stately Victorian mansion along the San Antonio River in the King William neighborhood.

The historic three-story home at 509 King William Street was built in the mid-1870s for Edward Steves, a lumber contractor and German immigrant who left Comfort with his wife, Johanna, and three sons.

The JW Plumfield Family Living Trust acquired it in early June.

“We are delighted to have the house once again a residence in the King William neighborhood,” said the Conservation Society said in a statement.

He declined to comment further on the sale, citing a confidentiality agreement.

In a statement provided by their attorney, the new owners said they intended to preserve the property.

“The Steves Homestead is an iconic home, well preserved by the San Antonio Conservation Society,” the trustees said. “As history students and longtime residents of San Antonio, we are honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to continue the work begun by the Society.”

“Our goal is to preserve the house and its outbuildings as much as possible, and to continue the restoration work for the benefit of future generations,” they added.

It is unclear who the trustees are and what they paid for the property. The Bexar appraisal district values ​​it at $3.2 million.

The Conservation Society had owned the house since 1952 and operated and maintained it as a museum until several months ago when the organization closed it.

The house’s design reflects the Second Empire style of architecture that was popular in Europe and the northeastern United States at the time of its construction. It is built of limestone, with pine doors and floors that Steves imported from Florida.

The house was the first in San Antonio to convert to electric lighting and the first to feature an indoor swimming pool.

After retiring from his lumber business, Edward Steves sought to beautify the downtown area. He had Commerce Street paved with mesquite blocks and suggested that the telephone, telegraph and power rolls be removed and the cables buried, according to San Antonio Express-News records.

Edward and Johanna Steves and their youngest son lived in the house, and their two other sons built houses across the street. Edward Steves died in 1890, but the business he started continues as Steves & Sons.

The house remained in the Steves family and was used as rental property. It was donated to the Conservation Society in 1952, and the organization renovated it and recreated period furniture.

The house, which is in the King William Historic Districthas been appointed Texas Historic Landmark registered in 1970.

Less than half a mile to the northeast, another historic home owned by the Conservation Society is also for sale.

The organization has been headquartered at the Anton Wulff House at 107 King William St. since the mid-1970s and listed the house circa 1870 for $3.98 million in November.

The Conservation Society has been looking for new premises for several years and the housing market is booming, executive director Vincent Michael said at the time.

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on the organization’s finances, with the postponement or cancellation of Conservation Society events such as A night in old San Antonioa major fundraiser during the San Antonio Party.

But Michael said lost revenue was “not really” a factor in the sale.

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