Following are some pictures I took in November of the neighborhood around Jefferson High School. I visited the area because my son was performing in a region choir concert at the school.
Woodlawn Lake was created by private real estate developers in 1888. The City of San Antonio took ownership of the lake in 1918. The 30-acre lake now boasts walking trails, boat dock, fishing, swimming, a gym and a dance studio.
The entrance to Josephine Tobin Drive which encircles Woodlawn Lake. Josephine Tobin was the daughter of John William Smith, the first mayor of San Antonio in the Republic of Texas, and mother of John Wallace Tobin, who served as San Antonio Mayor from 1923-27.
The area surrounding Woodlawn Lake was developed by the West End Town Company of Cincinnatti, which purchased 1,000 acres of land for housing development in 1887. A trolley line and then automobiles made the northern suburbs convenient for commuting to downtown. Many houses were built in the 1920s and 1930s.
In 1988 the Jefferson and Monticello neighborhood associations began efforts to revitalize the once-thriving commercial area along Fredericksburg Road. The corridor was christened the Deco District due to the Art Deco-inspired building facades and signs. Improvements to the area included bus shelters, stone planters, underground utilities and sidewalks.
As mentioned earlier, my son sang in a choir concert that was held in the Jefferson High auditorium. This was the most beautiful high school auditorium I have ever visited. According to the book San Antonio Uncovered Jefferson High was built in 1932 at a cost of $1.5 million. The school’s amenities included a 2,000 seat auditorium, fountains, wrought iron balconies and tile floors. The school was the first in the San Antonio School District to have two gymnasiums and built-in lockers. The high school was featured in Life magazine and two movies were filmed at the school: High School in 1937 and Texas Girl in 1939. The school was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
A visit to the Jefferson area would not be complete without mention of the Cool Crest Miniature Golf Course at 1402 Fredericksburg Road. Built in 1937, the complex has entertained several generations of San Antonio families. The facility closed about two years ago due to the owner’s health problems. The City is moving to designate the property as historic and the golf course has a Facebook fan group with 385 members supporting the revitalizaton of the facility.