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Recast Pearl by Doug Lipscomb, AIA

project client

Pearl Stable, San Antonio

Rio Perla Properties


Ford, Powell & Carson Architects and Planners Chris Carson, FAIA; Jeffrey Fetzer, AIA; Ellen Berky,

design team

AIA; Kimberly Mercer, Assoc. AIA contractor

Metropolitan Contracting Company


Danysh & Associates (structural); Goetting &

Associates (MEP); Pape-Dawson Engineers (civil); Rialto Studio (landscape); Lang Lighting Design (lighting); Texas Scenic Co. (theatrical lighting); Acoustic Dimensions (acoustics/AV); Sound Distributors (AV design); Courtney & Company (interior); Project Control of Texas (project manager) photographer

Paul Bardajgy

(this page) With its elaborately detailed pediment reconstructed and exterior brick cleaned of paint, the former stable building serves as a venue for special events. (opposite page) The architects reconfigured the central assembly space based on the structure’s elliptical geometry and dedicated the space in between for pre-function activities and services.


t e x a s

a r c h i t e c t

Upon seeing the newly renovated Pearl Stable, one can fully appreciate the grace with which past generations imbued even the most prosaic of structures. The stable building was originally constructed in 1894 to house the horses that pulled the beer wagons of the Pearl Brewing Company. The elegance of the original two-story elliptical structure derives from the simplicity of its plan – with horse stalls arranged on the ground floor around its perimeter and its core – and the richness of the corbelled and patterned brick on the exterior. The second floor served as the hay loft from which feed could be dropped through the chutes to the horses below. At the center of the roof was a handsome cupola that provided ventilation to the stables. The structure remained a functioning stable for approximately 30 years until the horse-drawn beer wagons were phased out in favor of motorized delivery vehicles. The building was then converted to a storage facility. In the 1950s the stable was again converted to a new use when it was transformed into a hospitality room for the brewery and renamed the Pearl Corral. With this conversion the wooden second-floor structure was removed and replaced with steel framing to support the roof load and provide a high-volume interior. To emphasize the hospitality room’s Old West theme, the steel columns were fashioned to appear as giant cacti and a facade replica of Judge Roy Bean’s “Law West of the Pecos” residence/saloon/courthouse was constructed as a backdrop for the stage. That latter insertion undoubtedly was the origin of the name of the stable’s next incarnation, another hospitality room known as the Jersey Lilly. The stable building served in this capacity from 1971 until 2000 when the Pearl Brewing Company ceased operations in San Antonio and sold the entire 26-acre property. The new owners are transforming the historic brewery into a lively mixed-use complex. Located on the north side of San Antonio’s downtown in close proximity to another converted brewery – the

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Texas Architect May/June 2007: San Antonio  

Texas Architect is the official publication of the Texas Society of Architects, each edition features recently completed projects and other...

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