SAN ANTONIO -- “Remember The Alamo” may take on a whole new meaning.
Developers proposed changes to help visitors understand the rich 300 year history of the Alamo
Designers of the Alamo Master Plan say the site is sacred ground and they want to treat it that way.
"You always haer in the history books of 'Remember the Alamo' and the history behind it," said Kevin Nolte, who visited The Alamo Wednesday afternoon with his wife Mandy. "One of the interesting parts for me was learning the full history of how it started as a mission and how it changed hands and where it led to where it is today."
In a plan laid out in front of city council members Wednesday, the Alamo Management Committee and Alamo master planner, Dr. George Skarmeas with Preservation Design Partnership, LLC presented the first round of master plan concepts.
Committee members wish to restore the church and rediscover historic elements.
"The building is deteriorating before our very eyes," Dr. Skarmeas said. "We need to think of the ways of protecting this artifact not for the next 10 years, but for the next 300 years."
Since the famous battle against Santa Anna, a city grew around the church, the center point of one of the most popular tourist areas in the nation which sits on top of sacred ground. Along with Texas defenders cremated on site, 1,500 indigenous people are also buried under The Alamo.
"Would the activities that go on here be acceptable at Valley Forge? Would they be acceptable at Gettysburg? Would they be acceptable at Pittsburg? The answer is no, they would not," said Gene Powell, Chairman of the Alamo Endowment.
In addition to restoration, the plan will recreate the site surrounding the church and welcome the public using only one entrance.
"When they leave the building and go to the church and go to the barracks, they will have an appreciation that no tourist has ever had before of what this site is all about," Powell said.
This week, developers and city leaders are meeting with property owners across the street. Those shops are not part of the master plan, and will instead be used for visitor education and a museum associated with The Alamo.
The city is working on relocating those shops.
The Alamo Master Plan is a $200 to $300 million project over the upcoming decade.
San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley says that the state is requesting another $75 million in addition to the $31 million already approved for the project.
In local 2012 bonds, San Antonio approved $1 million toward the restoration project and, last year in the budget, council members approved another $16 million not yet used.
In the upcoming bond request, the city will ask for another $22 million for recreation of The Alamo.
The master plan should be complete by May of 2017.
The Alamo master plan team will hold a public meeting in early 2017 to present these and additional concepts and strategies for the public’s feedback. The public is invited to review the concepts and provide feedback through the website, ReimagineTheAlamo.org or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The conversation will also continue on the Reimagine the Alamo Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.
(© 2017 KENS)