The Historical Witte Museum
At The Broadway, what we have built is more than luxury condominiums. We’ve created a space where people who desire a break from the mundane can come home to their retreat at the end of the day or enjoy a weekend in the city. In this space, we’ve established a community that can rely on our staff to provide top-notch services as well as a connection to the locale of 78209. We aspire to provide you with the latest happenings around the city, places to explore, events to attend, and pastimes to partake in.
One of San Antonio’s most legendary sites is the Witte Museum. Just footsteps from The Broadway, the Witte allows visitors to explore “everything Texas.” Established almost 100 years ago, this local museum claims it is the place “where nature, science, and culture meet.”
A brief history you may not know.
The Witte Museum opened its doors to great fanfare in September of 1925. Some well-known San Antonians contributed financially to the opening of the Witte, with a $65,000 contribution from the estate of Alfred W. Witte providing the museum with both its capstone financial donation and its name.
The museum is in fact named for Witte’s parents, not himself. Members of a previously existing museum association were surprised by the contribution.
Ellen Schultz Quillin was an early advocate for the museum through the San Antonio Museum Association. She managed the museum for a dollar annual salary on a $100 annual operating budget.
Despite operating on a shoestring, the museum was able to acquire a number of artworks and artifacts displaying the rich cultural and natural history of San Antonio and the State of Texas.
By the time the 30s rolled around, the Witte was sponsoring archaeological research of its own, contributing to the community in its own right. The modern wing of the museum opened in 1960 and represented a 60% increase in the size of the museum.
So what’s actually in this museum, just a quick walk from The Broadway? Here’s just a short list of what you can expect to see when you step outside the doors of your luxury condo and stroll down to The Witte.
B. Naylor Morton Research and Collections Center
The B. Naylor Morton Research and Collections Center is almost like a museum within a museum. This gallery is where collections go to live when they are not technically “on display” but visitors can still view them. There are three main components of this section of the Witte:
— The Dickson Allen Orientation Gallery: Seven color-coded galleries provide an overview of the Witte’s artwork.
— The Texas Art Storage Gallery: This section collects Texas art arranged alphabetically. The overall configuration changes regularly, so visit often.
— The Express-News Reading Room: A place to sit back and read through some of the archives of the Witte’s extensive history and research.
Robert J. & Helen C. Kleberg South Texas Heritage Center
This display is the main historical wing of the museum, dedicated to preserving the heritage of the greater San Antonio area, as well as South Texas as a whole. Hosted in a massive, 20,000 square foot, two-story building, this wing includes a number of collections related to Texas, dating back to pre-Columbian days, through all six flags that have flown over the Lone Star State.
Naylor Family Dinosaur Gallery
The Witte is proud to have opened the Naylor Family Dinosaur Gallery, the first permanent collection of fossils in its history. Exhibits date back as far as 90 million years, and the Ethan Walsh Deep Ocean Exhibit recreates the massive ocean covering Texas 110 million years ago. The Dinosaur Lab offers a peek into how paleontologists work, as well as how closely related ancient dinosaurs are to modern-day birds.
Kittie West Nelson Ferguson People of the Pecos Gallery
The Kittie West Nelson Ferguson People of the Pecos Gallery section of the Witte offers a peek into the pre-Columbian history of South Texas and its Pecos people. You will learn about the social history of these hunter-gatherer people, as well as see reproductions of the cave art they left behind. All told, there are over 9,000 years of history in this section, which occupies the entire second story of the new Witte.
McLean Family Texas Wild Gallery
The McLean Family Texas Wild Gallery offers some of the most beautiful dioramas of natural history in the entire country. State-of-the-art techniques allow visitors to immerse themselves in Texas’ unique wildlife. It isn’t just about South Texas—the total ecological diversity of Texas is on display in this section of the Witte. The East Foundation Land Stewardship Lab offers an opportunity to learn about the importance of environmental stewardship.
Acequia Madre and Diversion Dam
This exhibit is the oldest at the Witte. The Acequia Madre, or Alamo Acequia, and Diversion Dam date back to Texas’ Spanish colonial days. Before it was an attraction at the Witte, it brought water to Spanish missionaries.
The Witte is just one of many cultural attractions the San Antonio area offers and not the only one within walking distance of The Broadway. We’re not just proud of our on-site amenities. We’re also proud of the area around our premium luxury condos. Talk to a representative from The Broadway today about how we can help you find the right home for you.