Kress Building

Federal Realty Investment Trust
San Antonio, TX

Exterior Restoration

WJE was engaged to investigate distress conditions at the historic terra-cotta masonry and to develop recommendations for restoration. Broadly, the scope of work included terra-cotta cleaning and repairs; restoration of the historic steel windows, canopy, and signage; replacement of the terrace and canopy roofs; and other miscellaneous repairs.


The Samuel H. Kress Building was constructed in 1939 as a retail "five and dime" store. Architect Edward F. Sibbert designed the structure in the art deco style. The building features large signage elements and ornamentation reminiscent of a Spanish mission. The principle facades are comprised of multicolored glazed terra-cotta masonry units.


WJE performed a field investigation of the exterior terra cotta and brick masonry, windows, roofs, signage, and appurtenances. WJE prepared a report of findings, which included conceptual repair recommendations. WJE then produced construction documents for the restoration. WJE also provided construction administration services and worked closely with the client, general contractor, masonry contractor, and terra-cotta supplier to ensure that the specified restoration materials and techniques would complement the historic structure. This project was awarded the Downtown Alliance of San Antonio: Best Exterior Renovation Award in 2010, followed by the San Antonio Business Journal, Best in Commercial Real Estate: Best Historic Renovation Award in 2011.