Saturday, May 2, 2015

Haturday: Coral Hat from Joske's

In San Antonio, there's a mall downtown called Rivercenter Mall, so called for its proximity to the Riverwalk. The most storied and historic part of the mall was, in my lifetime, occupied by Dillard's, a theater, and some other smaller stores. Dillards left a few years ago, and the building is now being gutted for new tenants like Dave & Busters and H&M. But enough about them, let's get to the storied and historic bit. Let's talk about the original tenants, the old San Antonio department store, Joske's.

Joske's was founded by German immigrants in the late 19th century, and over the years outgrew its space again and again. It had the first fully air-conditioned store in Texas in 1936, which, if you've ever been to San Antonio from May to September, is kind of a big deal. By 1945, it had expanded a lot in prime San Antonio real estate, slowly buying up all the properties including some of the buildings owned by St. Joseph's Church, an old German Catholic Church founded in 1868. The parish refused to sell the land of the church itself, even though Joske's had bought all the land around it. Eventually Joske's gave up trying to buy the church land, and just built around it. Because of this, the church became nicknamed "St. Joske's." You can still gawk at it to this very day in downtown San Antonio:

Dillard's followed Joske's in the line of the retail apostolic succession.

I mention all of this as Joske's begat a number of the hats in my hat collection. Today I'm showing you this orangey-coral number with buckles from Tia's collection.

Part of the building does in fact border Alamo plaza, hence the labeling of "BY THE ALAMO." Joske's also had the slogan "The Biggest Store in the Biggest State"...until 1959 when Alaska joined the Union. They changed their motto to "The Best Store in the Best State." One of these things is less objective then the other.


My favorite part of the hat is actually the inside. The inside is finished with a band of orange velvet AND cream lace. They don't go millinerying hats like they used to, do they?

The fabric in some of these photos will eventually be for a blouse I'm working on, so stay tuned for that. :-)

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