After calling the three-story Anton Wulff House in King William home since 1974, The Conservation Society of San Antonio is preparing to leave it.
The group, which is dedicated to preserving San Antonio’s historic structures and culture, has put its headquarters at 107 King William St. on the market for an estimated $4 million. The Bexar Appraisal District valued the property at $3.69 million this year.
The sale has been at least three years in the making, but the pandemic held up the plans, Vincent Michael, the Conservation Society’s executive director, told the Heron on Nov. 15. The market is great right now, so the Conservation Society decided to pull the trigger on a sale on the property, which includes the 1869-1870 Wulff House, he said.
Michael said the group is looking at potential new headquarters, but did not want to reveal candidates, nor did he say whether the group would move into a historic building.
“We don’t want to be too far from downtown,” Michael said. “I think in general, in our search, we have generally looked at historic properties. So, probably.”
The Conservation Society, founded in 1924, chose Steve Yndo as the broker, Michael said, because he works with both commercial and residential properties
The property is zoned for commercial use, and the home is recognized as a historic landmark by the city and state, Michael said.
“You could build more on the lot,” Michael said. “It is more than an acre.”
Decades ago, the Conservation Society had its headquarters at the Dashiell House at La Villita, which is now occupied by a new bar called Rocky’s on the River. Eventually, the group moved into its current home, and the staff of A Night in Old San Antonio, which is the Conservation Society’s largest fundraiser and one of Fiesta’s most popular events, moved into the Louis Gresser House on South Presa and East Nueva streets.
The Conservation Society wants to consolidate its entire staff in one building, Michael said.
Anton Wulff, a merchant who migrated to Texas from Germany in 1848, built the house in 1870 in the Italianate style. Wulff served as the city’s first park commissioner, and also as an alderman.
In the early ’70s, the house was slated for demolition, but it was purchased by the Conservation Society in 1974 and was restored using a variety of funding sources. One of those sources was a campaign led by Walter Nold Mathis, who’s credited with leading the restoration of the King William neighborhood. King William, at the time, had fallen into slum-like conditions.
Previous owners include Arthur Guenther, owner of the Liberty Flour Mill, and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.