The Daniel J. Sullivan Carriage House

The Sullivan Carriage House was built in 1896 for one of the most colorful figures of early Texas, Daniel J. Sullivan. An Irish immigrant, Sullivan served in the Texas Cavalry, 1st Regiment, during the Civil War. In 1882, he founded D. Sullivan & Co. Private Bankers, whose loans made possible the legendary cattle drives of the 19th Century.

Alfred Giles, an English immigrant, moved to San Antonio in 1873, and quickly established himself as the region’s most noted architect, with many buildings to his credit in Texas and northern Mexico. Giles was commissioned to design the coach house and stables to be built behind Sullivan’s home at Fourth and Broadway and produced this superb example of the round-arched Richardsonian Romanesque style.

After Daniel Sullivan’s death, one of his daughters, Mary Elizabeth, and her husband, Major General John Lincoln Clem, resided in the home. In 1861, at the age of nine, Clem attempted to enlist in the Union Army. Rejected because of his youth, he attached himself unofficially to the 22nd Michigan Infantry and participated in the Battle of Shiloh as a drummer, for which he received notoriety as the “Drummer Boy of Shiloh.”

In 1987, the San Antonio Botanical Society was offered the Carriage House with one stipulation – it must be moved within three months. With major support from the San Antonio Conservation Society, the goal was achieved. The Carriage House was completely disassembled by skilled stonemasons who cleaned and marked each limestone block. After a careful move to its new location at the Garden, the building was painstakingly reassembled, stone by stone. In 1995, after several years of careful restoration, the Daniel J. Sullivan Carriage House was opened and given new life as the entry to the San Antonio Botanical Garden.

The Carriage House is a step into history as you sense the sounds of carriage wheels and horse hooves. Browse the Garden Gate Gift Shop and enjoy a bite to eat in the restaurant of this beloved San Antonio historical building.