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Agency

Texas Historical Commission

Abstract

From October 31, 2018, through February 13, 2019, the Center for Archaeological Research (CAR) at The University of Texas at San Antonio conducted archaeological monitoring for the South Alamo Street Improvements Project located in downtown San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. The excavation of 20 boreholes and more than 772 meters of trench were monitored. The work was performed for the City of San Antonio (COSA) to fulfill the requirements of the COSA’s Unified Development Code and the Antiquities Code of Texas. The project was conducted under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 8563. Dr. Paul Shawn Marceaux, CAR Director, served as the Principal Investigator, and Sarah Wigley served as the Project Archaeologist.

The project area is located on COSA property along South Alamo Street between César Chávez Boulevard and Pereida Street in central San Antonio. The monitoring consisted of trenching for the installation of an electrical conduit and the excavation of boreholes for new light poles located on either side of South Alamo Street between Turner Street and Pereida Street. The project area runs directly through the two national Historic Districts, the Lavaca Neighborhood Historic District and the South Alamo Street-South St. Mary’s Street Historic District, and it is included in the two local Historic Districts (the Lavaca Neighborhood and King William Historic District). These Historic Districts are known to contain significant historic sites, including the Acequia Madre de Valero (41BX8) and the Concepción Acequia (41BX1887; COSA Office of Historic Preservation 2019a).

During the monitoring, part of an intact wall of the Acequia Madre de Valero (41BX8) was uncovered near the intersection of Beauregard Street on the west side of South Alamo Street, although documentation of the feature was limited to the extent of the utility trench. In addition to the acequia wall section, five other architectural features, some potentially Spanish Colonial in nature, were documented, and four new sites designated 41BX2286, 41BX2287, 41BX2288, and 41BX2289 were recorded. A small number of temporally diagnostic historic artifacts were collected during the course of the project.

The CAR recommends that the section of 41BX8 (Acequia Madre de Valero) documented during the course of this project is eligible for inclusion to the National Register of Historical Places (NRHP) and designation as a State Antiquities Landmark (SAL), and all impacts should be avoided. Site 41BX8 has previously been determined to be eligible for inclusion on the NRHP, and it is designated as a Historic American Engineering Record and a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark (THC 2019). The portion of the site that was encountered during monitoring remains intact. It was covered with a protective layer of sand before backfilling. Site 41BX2286, a portion of a historic limestone and mortar wall, should also be avoided until its significance can be more clearly defined. Currently, the CAR cannot determine this site’s potential eligibility for inclusion to the NRHP or listing as a SAL due to the limited nature of the investigation. The portion of the site documented during monitoring remains intact. It was covered with a protective layer of sand before backfilling. The CAR recommends that sites 41BX2287, 41BX2288, and 41BX2289 are not significant. The portions of these sites documented during monitoring remain intact and were covered with a protective layer of sand before backfilling. These three sites are not recommended as eligible for inclusion to the NRHP or for designation as SAL.

All artifacts collected during the course of this project are curated at the CAR. All forms, documents, and photographs complied during the project and a copy of this report are archived in Project Accession file 2180 at the CAR.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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