|Northside of building on left, with partial west side visible on right. Note the two balconies of the large apartment (looking northwest) created in the 1990's remodeling of the 11th floor. photo made October 2018|
In December 2014 fire broke out on the third floor and five seniors lost their lives; a sixth would die later of natural causes. The other 250 or so residents were displaced due to major smoke damage; the building was closed after substantional internal demolition took place. The cause of the fire was never determined; however, the building had been completed prior to current fire codes and the only fire sprinklers were in the basement.
|Second and third floor windows boarded up after the fire. East side of building. September 2018.|
Described as a “city within a city,” the Wedgwood was a new concept in apartment living. It featured a restaurant, grocery, drugstore, insurance office, clinic, beauty salon and barber shop, dry cleaners, dress shop, and stockbroker’s office. The Wedgwood was a
“complete residential apartment building that puts the dweller above the skyline and provides him with wonderful scenic views, in luxurious comfort and convenience.” San Antonio Light, October 2, 1965, special section.The complex also featured a 49,000 gallon swimming pool, gardens, a lighted waterfall and a putting green. A spacious parking lot surrounded the complex.
|Early stages of renovation. |
Note smoke damage on left of building.
|Renovation in progress with gutting of building. |
|East side of building. Note the lettering imprint on the left of building |
and rock garden entryway visible lower right.
After the tragic fire the State Legislature passed a law that requires Bexar County high-rise buildings with elderly or disabled people comprising a majority of residents to be retrofitted with sprinklers by 2027. In addition to retrofitting the building with the required sprinker system Bernaki is also working with City officials to determine what went wrong at the Wedgwood and additional ways to add safety to the building. Expected re-opening is late 2019.
|A glimpse of the remains of the garden/walking path area visible from a nearby parking lot.|