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Norton-Polk-Mathis House, “Villa Finale”

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1876, Francis Crider; c. 1881 additions; c. 1891 remodeled; 2010 restoration. 401 King William St.
  • (Carol M. Highsmith's America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

The largest of the Italianate-style houses in the neighborhood with its high-quality limestone masonry was built for German immigrant and hardware merchant Russell C. Norton. In c. 1881 the two-story front porches and a rear wing were added by the house's second owner, rancher Edward Polk. According to a rendering of the house by Augustus Koch, in his Bird's Eye View of the City of San Antonio (1873), the Second Empire three-story tower was not present; it is believed it was added during a c. 1891 remodeling, along with a second-story addition to the rear wing. Afterward there was a succession of owners until 1967, when Walter N. Mathis purchased the residence and renamed it “Villa Finale.” Mathis, famed locally for his art collections, restored thirteen other residences in the King William District. Upon his death in 2005, Villa Finale was donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation as the first National Trust Historic site in Texas. Restoration was completed in 2010 and the house opened to the public.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Norton-Polk-Mathis House, “Villa Finale”", [San Antonio, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: Central, South, and Gulf Coast, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 165-165.

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