“TOBIN TALK” What’s going on in the Neighborhood!

Nov 03 2017

“TOBIN TALK” What’s going on in the Neighborhood!

Greetings Neighbors!!

I hope this finds you well. I am happy to report that the Movie Night in the Park was a huge success!!! We had a few more than 85 Neighbors in attendance!! The weather was just perfect for an evening in the Park! Many enjoyed an array of food from several trucks. A big THANK YOU to District One Councils office, San Antonio College as well as Metropolitan Methodist hospital for their support! A big Thanks is also in order for THCA Board Member Trey Porter for being the Board lead for organizing the first of many movie nights in the Park to come. Stay tuned!!


Website Updates:

Please note on the Website “TOBINHILL.ORG” there is a new entry under the Community Association Tab…it is a Calendar the will have all of the upcoming events pertinent to THCA.

Speaking of Calendars… Please note the next THCA Public meeting is set for November 16th at EcoCentro.


The Tobin Hill Historic District is 10 Years Old!

Contributed by Marty Kushner

We did it, the Tobin Hill Historic District is Official was the headline of an e-mail that included a notice that I sent to many Tobin Hill residents on November 30, 2007. The notice went on to say: “On November 29, 2007, at approximately 5:15 pm, the San Antonio City Council approved a City Ordnance to establish the Tobin Hill Historic District. This capped an effort that started in 2004. Turing the three-year period, many Tobin Hill residents took part in the process to collect the required signatures to begin the application process.”

The official request was submitted on August 23, 2017, unanimously approved by the Historic Design and Review Board (September 19) and the Zoning Commission (November 6) prior to unanimous approval of the City Ordnance by the San Antonio City Council. It didn’t take us long to celebrate our success. By 6 pm a group of over 20 Tobin Hill residents that spoke in favor of the designation at the City Council meeting were at the Kushner residence “to toast our victory, tell stories of Tobin Hill and discuss the hopes and dreams for the future.”

The notice concluded with this thought: “THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT for all of us. With the Riverwalk expansion, Pearl Brewery, River North and the potential of a new Performing Arts Center at the Municipal Auditorium, we are a neighborhood on the move… so lets all unite and help move Tobin Hill forward.”

Well, that was 10 years ago, and I have to say that the concluding statement certain has proven to be true, both for the Tobin Hill Historic District, and all of Tobin Hill. I remember hearing many naysayers suggest the proposed Tobin Hill Historic District would be extremely harmful to the neighborhood. I honestly believe the opposite has been proven to be true. And most importantly, THE FUTURE CONTINUES TO BE BRIGHT.


How Tobin Hill Got Its Name

As the years passed, the part of the city between San Pedro Creek and the Upper Labor acequia (now the southwestern section of the neighborhood) became known as the Old Main Association as the land was sold to the Maverick family, Gillum & Yongue, and other large landholders. Part of the area now known as Tobin Hill was the result of an 1876 lawsuit between Gillum & Yongue and the City. In a lawsuit for clear title, the City had misinterpreted the amount of land in a “labor” (seven acres inside city limits, but 177 acres outside city limits). It awarded Gillum & Yongue 177 acres. When it realized its mistake, the City sued but did not win the land back. Gillum subdivided the 177 acres into lots, donated two blocks on either side of Main Ave. to the City as what is now known as Crockett Park, and sold the remaining lots, which became known as Gillum Addition. At that time developers didn’t build the houses, the owners of the lots did.(3)

During the 1880s and 1890s, when members of the Tobin family built seven homes in that area, the Old Main Association and Gillum Addition began to be known as Tobin Hill.(4) Unfortunately, none of those houses exists today.

(2) Unknown newspaper article, “Court error gave away Tobin Hill”, dated June 21, 1927 – DRT Library.

(3) Ibid.

(4) San Antonio on Track: the Suburban and Street Railway Complex through 1937 / Ann Maria Watson. Trinity U., 1982.

[Reprint from Sept. 2011 THCA Newsletter. This was the 2nd in a series about the history of Tobin Hill.]