The Havana Apartments was built in 1914 by Edward Franz Melcher. Designed by architect Arthur J. Herrman, the three story Mediterranean Revival building occupies a prominent location at 1015 Navarro Street at it's intersection with the San Antonio River. The property was purchased in 1909 from the nuns of Ursuline Academy for $7500.
this Alamo Plaza view was provided by Kent
In the 20s, hired help prepared pickles and other savories in the dirt floored basement for distribution to area restaurants and shops. There was always plenty of German food available to the tenants as was a serious poker game.
Melcher sold the property to Nat Washer in 1926, after purchasing the eight story Arlington Arms luxury apartment house, and building his business premises on West Travis. The property was sold several times over the next ten years. It went downhill steadily until Morris and Irene Jaffe took it over in 1938. Operating it as a rooming house, Mrs. Jaffe lived there until 1973. It was sold again in 73, and divided into thirty units. By the early 80s all the tenants had disappeared, and a partnership made plans to convert to offices, and a restaurant. This plan never materialized.
In 1986, the Havana was named to the National Register of Historic Places, but this did not stop the elements from doing serious damage to the building. The Resolution Trust Corp. took over in 1988.
Teresa Greer took the property over in 1992, and completely rebuilt, remodeled, renovated, and restored the dilapidated structure. Each of the twenty seven rooms are individually decorated with period furnishings.
Battersby Ornamental repaired the original plasterwork, as needed, throughout the hotel. We also applied new veneer plaster to the ceilings in the lobbies on each floor, and the ceilings in all the corridors. The two level penthouse apartment was resurfaced throughout. Today the building is known as The Havana Riverwalk Inn.
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