Visitor Center Exhibits

Permanent Exhibit

Villa Finale's permanent exhibition orients guests on four themes that will make their visit more enjoyable and informative.  These four displays feature photographs and three-dimensional objects.

King William National Historic District

Formally farm lands for the Alamo, the King William neighborhood grew and prospered under San Antonio's early German immigrants.  This exhibit includes historic information from farm land days, to a devastating flood in 1921, through the 20th century revitalization of the neighborhood.

Villa Finale: 401 King William

Built in 1876 by hardware merchant, Russell Norton, the house at 401 King William Street - now known as Villa Finale - went through eleven different colorful owners before Walter Mathis purchased the home in 1967.  Learn about the home's unstable past to its resurrection under the ownership of Walter Mathis.

Walter Nold Mathis 

A proud ninth-generation Texan, Walter Nold Mathis was born into a successful family that saw its share of pitfalls after the Stock Market Crash of 1929.  Overcoming the hardships of combat during World War II and struggles to build a name for himself in the business world, Walter Mathis went on to become a successful stock broker, San Antonio civic leader and historic preservationist.  His purchase of a house at 401 King William turned out to be the catalyst for the revitalization of the historic neighborhood.

The Mathis Collections

In addition to his civic work and projects in historic preservation, Walter Mathis was also an avid collector of fine and decorative arts.  By the time of his passing in 2005, Mr. Mathis had assembled an impressive eclectic collection of paintings, silver, Napoleana, Texana and more. The collection, which numbers well over 12,000 individual pieces, is still showcased in his home, Villa Finale.  Selected pieces are featured in this permanent exhibit.