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kronkosky tower

418 W. Highland, Boerne
ID# 19992 ORIGINAL USE: Home PRESENT USE: Convent for Benedictine Sisters CURRENT OWNER:
OWNERS: Albert Kronkosky LOCATION: Kernaghan Addition Lot: #14, 15 DATE: 1912 Style/Period: Hill Country HISTORICAL DESIGNATION: NO
BUILDER: -- CONSTRUCTED OF: Rock walls, Metal roofs; bridge over ravine. CONDITION: Good DESCRIPTION: Five structure complex consisting of main house, son's house, servants quarters, garage, dance pavilian, and water tower. Built as a country retreat, became a permanent home.

HISTORY: "The twenty-seven acre estate was acquired and developed by Albert Kronkosky, Sr., then a rising young, San Antnio business tycoon- in 1911. As his business prospered, Kronkosky lavished more and more time and money into making "The Hill", a showplace. Two mansions and a variety of other structures were built. A water tower resembling an oriental pagoda was visible for miles, and became an area landmark. A dance pavillion became the scene of sparkling balls and parties. During World War I "The Hill" was visited by thousands of military personnel, training in San Antonio, and word of Kronkosky's lavish hospitality spread througout the country. Proud of his success and his home, Kronkosky placed a visitors welcome sign at the entrance to the hill, and soon tourists from all parts of the world were wandering along the rustic paths, admiring the lavish flower beds, and enjoying the view from "tower house" which jutted from the hillside. A scenic bridge linked Kronkosky Hill with an adjacent hilltop where Kronkosky's brother- in-law, Charles Graebner, had his residence.

On dance nights, colored lights strung for hundreds of yards were visible miles away. The gaity abruptly halted when Kronkosky suffered a severe illness in 1931. He died in 1944, and the hill passed to his son."

Except for a caretaker, it was unoccupied for many years. Then in 1960 "the Hill" became the property of the Benedictine Sisters. One of the mansions became the convent; other buildings were used for the high school, known as St. Albert's Hall; the tower was surmounted with a cross and was thereafter known as the Kronkosky Memorial Tower." -[ from a 1960 newspaper article]

The Benedictine Sisters remain the owners. Since 1960 they have added the Graeber property to the Kronkosky estate. They progressed through the years, changing to meet the needs of the community, from a secondary school to an early learning center. The Graeber Estate buildings became the monastery; The Kronkosky buildings are used as a Retreat Center; and by adding several pre- fab buildings, they opened the Early Learning Center.

Source: Boerne Public Library files, December, 1999

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