Inn History

A Tribute to San Antonio’s Past

The Dullnig Building has been part of Texas history since 1883, and now you can experience this rich heritage firsthand! Eighteen-year-old George Dullnig and his two brothers, Christian and John, opened their wholesale and retail grocery business in 1864 on Commerce and Alamo Streets in San Antonio. This area was the city’s traditional business and major retail center, made up primarily of simple, one-story buildings.

In the early 1880s, with business prospering, George hired Austin architect James Murphy to design a grand mercantile store. The resulting three-story building was an imposing landmark, built for an estimated $10,000.

For the next 20 years, the area enjoyed a flourishing architectural period, as Alamo Plaza was developed and landscaped and several more buildings were built. Many of the buildings have been demolished or extensively remodeled. Today, only the Menger Hotel, Crockett Block and the Dullnig Building remain as a tribute to this important era in San Antonio history. By 1887, George Dullnig's business was described as "the oldest run under one firm name in San Antonio" and one of the largest in the Southwest; it employed 30 people, with seven delivery wagons trading as far as West Texas.

George Dullnig was influential in shaping the city of San Antonio. In 1892, he founded the Fifth National Bank on the first floor of the building, where it operated until 1896. He was also a stockholder in the Opera House and the San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railroad, and later a board member of the San Antonio & Gulf Railroad. Dullnig became a pioneer in the Texas oil industry when in 1886 he struck oil just six miles south of San Antonio.

George Dullnig died on December 19, 1908 and the store continued to operate under a variety of names until 1920; at that point, it was sold to J.M. Frost, who operated the business under the name "The Fair" until 1930.

Since that time, the building has hosted a variety of businesses. Now home to the Riverwalk Vista Inn, it can be your home whenever business or pleasure brings you to San Antonio.