Our City, Our History: La Villita, Part II

(SBG San Antonio)

You can watch Our City, Our History: La Villita, Part I here.

With close to 300 years of history, our story picks up in the 1930s when San Antonio mayor Maury Maverick had a vision to turn the La Villita area into an arts and crafts village.

So, he developed a program a program with the National Youth Administration, the NYA, which is the depression era program and began the restoration of La Villita.

La Villita was named a historic district in 1969. It was put on the national list of historic districts shortly after and the area became like its own little town.

"The area was still largely residential in the 1880s-1890s, the modest houses. It was an area of mixed population. There were different nationalities, different races who lived here. There wasn't that separation that we came to have in later years. There were also boarding houses. There were saloons. It was a big area for drinking because of the adjoining neighborhoods. And then some of the buildings became small manufacturing facilities."

Now, La Villita is managed by the city of San Antonio's Center City Development and Operations Department.

If you want to take a closer look at the history of La Villita, there's several pictures on display in Building 15 at the San Antonio Conservation Society's Exhibit.

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