Street Address
122 Madison Street
San Antonio, TX 78204
Mailing Address
122 Madison Street
San Antonio, TX 78204
phone: 210-223-9800
e-mail: villafinale@nthp.org
web: villafinale.org/
Hours
Tuesday12 PM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday - Saturday9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Excludes holidays
Services
Gift Shop
Group Tours
Staff
Michael Anderson, Acting Director
phone: 210-223-9800 x34325
Meg Nowack, Manager of Curatorial Resources
phone: 210-223-9800 x34322
Syeira Budd, Coordinator, Visitor Services & Museum Shop
phone: 210-223-9800 x34328

Description

Villa Finale was the home of Walter Mathis, a leading preservationist in San Antonio, Texas. Walter Mathis is widely recognized as the catalyst for the revitalization of the King William neighborhood, now a National Register Historic District. In addition to his work in King William, Walter Mathis was an advocate for city and statewide historic preservation, as well as a civic and cultural leader.

In 1967, when Walter Mathis purchased his home at 401 King William, the neighborhood was in an advanced state of disrepair. Stately mansions had become poorly-maintained rooming houses, some altered almost beyond recognition. After spending nearly two years meticulously restoring Villa Finale, itself a former boarding house, Mr. Mathis turned his attention to the neighborhood outside his door. One by one, he bought a dozen houses in King William, performed essential preservation work on them, and then sold them to preservation-minded individuals who would continue their restoration.

In addition to his preservation work, Walter Mathis was also a prodigious collector of artifacts of nearly every type; these collections fill Villa Finale. Throughout his home, one finds beautiful examples of European furniture, and fine and decorative arts. Mr. Mathis particularly enjoyed collecting memorabilia relating to the life and death of Napoleon Bonaparte. Mr. Mathis’s interest in Texas art is represented in the collection by such artists as Mary Bonner, and Julian and Robert Onderdonk. In addition, there is a wide range of Texas decorative arts, such as Bell silver, Texas furniture, and Texian campaign ceramics.

The home and its collections were given to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2004, so the home could become the first National Trust Historic Site in Texas.

Artifacts Collections

Over 12,500 items collected by Walter Nold Mathis over his lifetime, including a significant number of Napoleonic memorabilia.

Educational Programs

Public programs, tours, and speciality are scheduled throughout the year. Most have an admission fee, but discounts are offered.

Rotating exhibits are housed at our Visitor Center and are curated from our permanent collection.

    Facilities

    Performance Areas

    Publications

    Monthly email newsletter.

      ADA

      Visitors are welcome to park in the parking lot off Turner Street. Parking lot closes at 4:30pm on regular business days.

      Services

      Museum Shop

      We feature unique and Villa Finale collection-inspired objects. Our Bookshop offers selections on preservation, local authors and history, magazines, art and children's titles.

      The Tour

      All tours of Villa Finale are hosted by one of our interpretive Guides who will lead your experience through the 6,500 square-foot home and its collection of fine and decorative arts. Tour size is kept to a maximum of six persons to allow for an informal and personal visit just as guests of Walter Mathis enjoyed for nearly forty years. All tours are approximately one hour in length.

      Tour Reservations

      Villa Finale is now accepting tour reservations - dates and times subject to availability. To make a reservation, please call Villa Finale Visitor Services at (210) 223-9800 extension 34328.

      Gift Shop

      Group Tours