Kronkosky Tower LbNA # 66332
|Placed Date||Dec 14 2013|
|Last Edited||Sep 14 2015|
A twenty-seven acre estate was acquired and developed by Albert Kronkosky, Sr., a San Antonio 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 pavilion 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 throughout the country. Proud of his success and his home, Kronkosky placed a visitor’s 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. The gaiety abruptly ended 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. T hen 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. 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 prefab buildings, they opened an Early Learning Center.
To find the box: Start at the Sister’s Attic Thrift Store – 216 W. Highland. From the entrance the parking for the thrift store is on the left. Park there and walk West (thrift store will be to your left). Take roadway with the chain link fence of the day care on your immediate left. The road will pass between the bridge posts of the former “scenic bridge”. Continue to the marble statue and climb stairs. Turn left and follow cement path that curves up the hillside. The path will turn to steps. Stop on the third step that is rock and look left. There is a limestone ledge. Just three steps off the path look under the ledge behind loose rock for the box. When replacing the box go down to the cement steps and look back at the ledge. Make sure the box cannot be seen.