Southwest School of Art & Craft, with roots dating to 1848, when the Catholic community started building the Ursuline Academy, an elite, private girl’s school, it is one of the oldest education sites in San Antonio, Texas. It was recently declared the largest and most significant example of French-influenced architecture in the state by the French Heritage Society. Early buildings on the campus were designed by famed architect Francois Giraud, the city’s first surveyor who is responsible for many of the city’s distinct buildings, including the French Gothic style addition of San Fernando Cathedral. Giraud, who was born in South Carolina to French immigrant parents, chose a construction method called pise de terre, or rammed earth, for the buildings. Skilled pise worker Jules Poinsard worked as a subcontractor on the project.