Menger Hotel

Location: 204 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX

William A. (1827-1871) and Mary Menger, both born in Germany, opened a boarding house and brewery at this site in 1855, when most local buinesses were still clustered around Main Plaza and Military Plaza. The popularity of the boarding house led Menger to replace it with a two-story stone hotel erected at the corner of Blum and Alamo Plaza in 1859. Mary Menger sold the Hotel in 1881 to J.H. Kampmann, the builder of the first portion of the structure.

Famed for its excellent meals and beautiful patio garden, the Menger was San Antonio's most prominent hotel in the 19th century. It attracted many well-known visitors and was periodically enlarged and remodeled to accommodate more guests. Cattlemen such as Richard King stayed here during the era of the great cattle drives. Other guests included Generals U.S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, and John Pershing; poet Sidney Lanier, writer O. Henry (William Sidney Porter); and performers at the Grand Opera House located across the plaza. Theodore Roosevelt recruited his regiment of "Rough Riders" for the Sapnish-American War at the Menger in 1898.

Purchased in 1943 by W.L. Moody, Jr., the hotel was further expanded in 1966-67 to cover the entire block. (1976)