Texas’ oldest VFW Post overdue for repairs, causing concerns about safety, sanitation

SAN ANTONIO – What should be a shining showplace for veterans and tourists alike is crumbling without long overdue repairs.

The state’s oldest Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, sitting right along the San Antonio River Walk, is fighting for its life with the city and county, which are worried that it’s in such disrepair it’s unsafe and unsanitary.

Veterans hold ceremonies at VFW Post 76. Anyone is welcome to drink a beer and enjoy the wraparound patio, and tourists fawn over its historic architecture.

Much of the beauty is in decay or inaccessible because of years of patchwork repairs.

“You can feel movement, the veranda, second-floor render. You can feel movement on the floor deck, which is because of the lack of proper waterproofing done over the years,” said Steve Trevino, building committee chair.

Some of those overdue repairs include plumbing. Guests are currently using porta-potties.

Trevino said preserving the house is essential to the history of San Antonio. The home belonged to the original brewmaster of Lone Star Brewery. It has a historic state designation.

“It goes beyond monetary value,” Trevino said.

But paying for the repairs is a challenge. The building committee is working with area foundation donors and negotiating with the county to preserve it.

San Antonio’s historic preservation architect is looking forward to the needed repairs.

“His first comment to me on the phone was, I’ve been waiting for this phone call,” Trevino said.

So far, the VFW post is working with a contractor and laying down the plans.

“We need to take the proper steps, and it should be done right,” Trevino said.

About the Authors:

Camelia Juarez is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2022. Camelia comes from a station in Lubbock, Texas. Now, she is back in her hometown. She received her degree from Texas State University. In her free time, Camelia enjoys thrifting, roller-skating and spending time with family and friends.

Before starting at KSAT in August 2011, Ken was a news photographer at KENS. Before that he was a news photographer at KVDA TV in San Antonio. Ken graduated from San Antonio College with an associate's degree in Radio, TV and Film. Ken has won a Sun Coast Emmy and four Lone Star Emmys. Ken has been in the TV industry since 1994.