Tax Credit Program Highlight: Menger Hotel

San Antonio, Bexar County

1927

Menger Hotel facade

Designation

Listed in National Register as part of Alamo Plaza Historic District

Historic Use

Hotel

Current Use

Hotel

Total Rehabilitation Cost

$168,057

Qualified Rehabilitation Expenses

$168,057

Date Certified

July 26, 2016

 

Certified for state tax credits only.

History

The Menger Hotel, the oldest continuously operating hotel west of the Mississippi, is located directly adjacent to the southern side of the Alamo in the Alamo Plaza Historic District. Originally developed by William A. Menger, a German immigrant, the Menger first started as a wooden boarding house and brewery (reportedly the first in Texas) in 1855. Architect John Fries designed the two-story limestone structure that replaced the boarding house in 1859. The Menger was historically a major hub for business and commerce in San Antonio due to its location and accommodations. Most notably, Theodore Roosevelt recruited his Rough Riders here in 1898.

Rehabilitation Project

This state-only project focused on sprucing up the facade of the historic hotel. The limestone façade was cleaned, flaking areas of paint on the walls and balconies were repainted, and the canvas window awnings were renewed with fresh fabric. The unusual molded tin roof on the second floor, which was designed to mimic Spanish clay tiles, was also cleaned and repainted in the original color based on historic paint evidence. Most impressive was the recreation of the original character of the flared, glass-roofed entry portico. Over many decades the iron structure had lost its glass panels, which had been replaced with an assortment of plywood and other materials. The owners were able to use a lightweight clear polycarbonate panel system in lieu of glass, which meets modern safety code and was found to sufficiently approximate the historic appearance of the lost material.

Photo Gallery

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  • Overhead glass elements would not be safe for pedestrians, so the former areas of canopy glazing were recreated with polycarbonate.