Craig Glendenning started renovating the Hedrick building with only an idea of what the 1920s building looked like without the metal cladding that covered its front. Weeks into removal efforts, what he found underneath was a gift.

“God couldn’t have hid anything better,” Glendenning said. “It’s a great blessing.”

Sheets of red, white, and silver metal covered a warm terra cotta colored facade lined with intricately carved designs wrapping around the front of the building. Brick columns stack ten stories high to a top featuring carvings of Spanish colonial conquistadors.

The decades-old cladding was introduced as part of a modernization effort carried out in the 1960s.

“That building won the innovation for revitalization and modernization of a building in San Antonio,” Glendenning said. “It was the number one rehab project in San Antonio that year, and five years later it was obsolete.”

The Hedrick Building at 601 North Saint Mary's.
The Hedrick Building at 601 North Saint Mary’s. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

The building has stood vacant since 1987, making it an eyesore in the downtown landscape. But Glendenning and his partner Uri Villarreal are restoring the structure and surrounding buildings for residential and commercial use.

The Hedrick building will become The Flats On St. Mary’s, home to 54 high end apartments close to the River Walk, Weston Centre, and Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. Commercial tenants are expected to fill the ground floor. A restaurant, rooftop venue, and coffee shop will be built into the Voss building situated behind the Hedrick. There also will be some apartments inside that building as well.

Glendenning says nearly 80% of the removal efforts are finished. Moving forward with the development, he says its now time to start working on the nearly 400 windows located around the property.

“Each one of those has to be historically replicated with a wood clad window,” Glendenning said. “We’re trying to do something that’s going to last 100 years and not 20 years like the first one did.”

Jeffrey Sullivan is a Rivard Report reporter. He graduated from Trinity University with a degree in Political Science.