Additional archaeological and historical studies for the Fairmount Hotel project in San Antonio, Texas
Labadie, Joseph H.
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During June 12-14, 1985, the Center for Archaeological Research (CAR), The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) carried out an intensive archaeological testing program (designated the Fairmount II Project) on New City Block (NCB) 155, Lot 6, in downtown San Antonio, Texas. The project was done under contract with the Fairmount Hotel Company in advance of their planned development on the southern half of Lot 6. The testing program was conducted under the specific terms of the Texas Antiquities Committee Permit No. 505. The property tested is owned by the City of San Antonio and is leased to the Fairmount Hotel Company. The northern half of NCB 155, Lot 6, had been investigated previously by the CAR-UTSA (February 16-March 1, 1985) under the terms of Texas Antiquities Committee Permit No. 480; this work was also done under contract with the Fairmount Hotel Company (Labadie 1986). These investigations (designated as the Fairmount I Project) resulted in the identification and excavation of La Villita Earthworks site (41 BX 677). The artifact collection recovered from La Villita Earthworks site has been designated a State Archeological Landmark within the larger La Villita Historical District in downtown San Antonio. The proposed development on the southern portion of Lot 6 involves a two-level addition of three to four stories to the recently relocated historic Fairmount Hotel. The area is roughly equal to (80 x 90 feet), and adjacent to, that area investigated initially. The development necessitated the removal of all earth in the southern half of Lot 6 to a depth roughly 10 feet below the present-day street level on South Alamo Street. The new development will reach to within several feet of the German-English School (established in 1858) located on Lot 5; this three-building complex has been designated as a Texas Historic Landmark. Development will also reach to within a few feet of Lot 7, which contains the Robert Caile House (ca. 1860), also a Texas Historic Landmark (see Fig. 1). The purpose of this archaeological project was to evaluate the cultural resource significance of the southern portion of Lot 6, its potential for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places and as a State Archeological Landmark, and to determine if development would cause significant damage to subsurface deposits. The field work was conducted by George Deaton, Joe Tovar, Kenny Wright, and Joseph Labadie (Project Director) under the supervision of Dr. Thomas R. Hester, Center Director, and Jack D. Eaton, Associate Director. All field notes and materials recovered from testing are curated at the Center for Archaeological Research at The University of Texas at San Antonio.