Neighborhood News

Community pays tribute to Barney Smith, Toilet Seat Museum creator

The Alamo Heights community and many others are remembering Barney Smith, who created and owned the Toilet Seat Museum, one of the more famed if not quirky public collections in the San Antonio area.

Smith died July 23 at age 98. The Toilet Seat Museum, which has been once based at his Smith’s Alamo Heights home, contained more than 1,000 decorated toilet seats.

Smith decided in late 2018 to sell the museum collection to Jason Boso, owner of the Texas Truck Yard restaurant in The Colony, Texas.

Smith managed to visit the new museum location earlier this year to help cut the ribbon. Hundreds of people went to Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum – Legacy Page on Facebook with remembrances of Smith’s iconic collection.

Many of the commenters, who had visited the museum when it was in Alamo Heights, shared as many kind words about Smith as they shared about his world-record collection of commode lids.

I’m so very sad to hear this. Barney impacted thousands of lives as he gave personal tours of his precious museum,” Cydni Shepherd Choate posted.

“Rest in peace, Barney. What an impressing man,” Henry Ogburn wrote. “Thanks for sharing a bit of your history in your unique artwork.”

Our family had the chance to visit the museum this last December, very shortly before it closed,” Andrew Clavie-Parker said on the Facebook page.

“The art was impressive, but your grandfather’s character, enthusiasm, and charisma made it memorable and beautiful. He will be missed.”

Alamo Heights acts on student parking

Alamo Heights City Council on July 8 approved adjusting pavement markings on East Fair Oaks to allow head-in 60-degree angle parking.

The council, in the same motion, also approved re-configuring travel lanes in the 200 blocks of East Castano to create a parallel parking lane on the south curb lane.

Both of these actions, city officials said, were designed to help reduce the number of high school students parking on nearby residential streets.

On July 8, the Alamo Heights council hosted a presentation that formally designated Michael S. Brenan Lane at city hall. This was done to pay tribute to the Alamo Heights native and longtime city attorney who died earlier this summer.

Alamo Heights approves nature trails building renovation

Alamo Heights City Council voted July 24 to award a contract for little more than $88,000 to Paloma Blanca Enterprises, a small local construction firm, for renovations to the Judson nature trails building.

The city has long wanted to repair and improve the nature trails building at 246 Viesca. Upgrades would include removal and replacement of the existing metal roof and supporting material, and renovate the bathrooms toward Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

Other improvements will include updating lighting and electrical wiring, and repainting the existing window frames and doors.

 Terrell Hills updates fee schedule

The city of Terrell Hills recently changed its city fee schedule to reflect updated building/construction fees.

Detailed information is available at Terrell Hills City Hall and on the city’s website.

Local officials wanted to revise the fee schedule to encourage building project owners and contractors to ensure their project is completed in a timely manner.

Alamo Heights is accepting glass for recycling

The city of Alamo Heights acknowledged an error in a message provided to residents in June regarding recycling of glass.

The city initially said Waste Management, its garbage and recycling contractor, was no longer accepting glass due to rising costs for particular recyclables.

But a few days later, Alamo Heights announced Waste Management is still accepting glass. The city did urge residents to not put non-recyclable items, such as plastic bags, into recycling containers. The city also reminded residents to rinse off all food residue before inserting correct items into a recycle bin.

Casina Creek Homes opens new community

Residents are starting to move into Casinas at The Heights, a new farmhouse-style community east of U.S. 281 and north of West Sunset Road.

The new community from Casina Creek Homes features three- and four-bedroom units that range between 1,400 square feet and 2,500 square feet.

The first houses in the 10-home portfolio are listed to sell beginning in the higher $300,000’s. A second phase will add 14 units. Each unit includes an open concept living design and a two-car garage.

Casina Creek Homes has no homeowner association fees. Visit for details.

Water break damages Terrell Hills homes

Crews from San Antonio Water System spent the end of July repairing a water main break in the area of Garraty and South Vandiver roads in Terrell Hills.

The water main break was first reported on the night of July 28. The break caused water to spread out and enter some houses.

According to reports, damages to the affected homes were estimated in thousands of dollars.


By Edmond Ortiz

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