HistoryThe History of the Brady Building

The Brady building was built in 1914 on the site of the 1879 Turnverien Association Opera House. Thomas Brady had acquired the land in 1890, but in 1914 built a "new" Empire Theatre inside an office tower he named the Brady Building. The Empire Theatre, which opened December 14, 1914, was "the first modern theatre of San Antonio", and the City's largest at the time, with electric lighting, fans, and motorized stage equipment. The Empire's interior was plush and elegant, with gold gilding. The auditorium penetrates four floors of the 10 story masonry and brick Brady building which provided office space for many of the oldest companies in San Antonio for more than eight decades. A good example of early twentieth century San Antonio commercial architecture, the windows of the second floor are recessed behind unusually shaped angular arches. The spandrel between the second and third floors is decorated with shields (eagles in the center) and dentils. The parapet is ornamental with carved geometric ornament and an arcade pierced with round arches. The high ceilings, oversized windows, and L-shape of the building made it ideal for renovation from offices to apartments. The Theater and Building have been beautifully restored and are on the National Register of Historic Places.