2019 Homes Tour
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519 Leigh Street

Neighborhood: Lavaca

Architect: Elizabeth Wilson, AIA

This contemporary home was constructed as part of the largest development of single-family homes near downtown San Antonio in recent memory, ten years after the demolition of the Victoria Courts public housing project south of Hemisfair Park. Sitting on one of 26 Leigh St. lots sold by the San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) to private homeowners and developers, the house preserves continuity with the surrounding historic Lavaca neighborhood while introducing contemporary elements, modern comfort, green design and embracing its setting in a coveted, walkable, downtown location. Efficiently situated on a small lot, its orientation incorporates the beauty and shade of nearby Live Oak trees as well as downtown vistas that surround its ample outdoor living spaces.

This 1900 square foot home brings together style, efficiency, and functionality. The home incorporates a roofline common to century-old folk Victorian homes nearby and blends classic massing elements with vertical metal and reverse board and batten to create a modern, two-story twist on architectural styles seen throughout the South Town area. A pine accent wall stands between the home and street, supporting a second story balcony in the front of the home off the master bedroom and creating separation and privacy from the street.

The first story sports an efficient open concept living/dining/kitchen area, maximizing space for

socializing while minimizing dead space. A full bath, attached two-car garage on the rear alley, floating stairs, and flex room for a studio/office/bedroom complement a comfortable living space, offer amenities that are rare for the neighborhood, and ensure that the home can remain a “forever” home.

A bar and ample custom cabinetry, shelving, and other storage complement an opulent master suite on the second floor, complete with vaulted ceiling, balcony, walk-in closet, shower and tub. The second floor also boasts a third bedroom and a vaulted covered balcony facing north toward downtown—an entertainment space that enjoys shade in the afternoon, breezed due to its elevation, and dramatic views of the Tower of the Americas and the Alamo Dome.

Certified by Build San Antonio Green, the home is heated and cooled by a zoned, high-efficiency HVAC system, and insulated with spray foam, an improved thermal envelope, and energy efficient windows. No maintenance exterior materials, including a standing seam galvalume roof and metal and Cementous siding, ensure long term durability with minimal cost for upkeep. An enclosed courtyard, along with the rear balcony, ensures shaded outdoor living space at all hours of the day and minimizes the need for conditioned entertaining areas.

The combined elements of energy efficiency, functionality, style, and downtown location give this home a cutting-edge appeal to the contemporary urban lifestyle—and ensure that its appeal will last for generations to come!