Citizens Committee Approves Alamo Redesign Plan

posted by Morgan Montalvo - 

By Morgan Montalvo 

WOAI News   

The Alamo Citizens Advisory Committee on Thursday evening approved a  comprehensive – and controversial – redesign plan for the historic  mission and surrounding grounds, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.   

Inside City Council Chambers, where committee members addressed  remaining concerns immediately prior to the vote, a near-full  spectators’ section was about evenly divided between supporters and  opponents of the multi-part proposal.

The voting was punctuated by shouts from demonstrators opposed to moving  the cenotaph, a memorial to the Alamo defenders, which has served as a  lightning rod for groups that include native Americans, descendants of  Texian militiamen who fought at the Alamo or other battles for  independence from Mexico, and history “purists:” who prefer a status quo  for the site, known to many as “The Cradle of Texas Liberty.”   

One part of the proposal involves moving the cenotaph about 500 feet  south from its present location directly in front of the Alamo, but  still on adjacent Alamo Plaza.

Place 1 City Councilman Roberto Trevino chairs the committee. Following  the meeting, he told News Radio 1200 WOAI that a restored and expanded  Alamo complex will offer citizens on all sides of the issue reasons to  be proud.   

“It’s about revealing every bit of the history of the Alamo, from the  indigenous period, the mission era, to the secularization, the Battle of  the Alamo, and beyond,” Trevino said.   

Protesters who gathered outside after the vote say they find little reassurance in Trevino’s words. 

“It’s a sham, it’s a scam, and it’s a bunch of lies, all rolled into  one,” demonstrator Paul Gescheidle said. “They got what they wanted, 100  percent on all of every issue that’s been an issue; are you kidding me?    

 “A hundred percent across the board, after months of being here and speaking out?” he asked.   

Gescheidle was one of about a half-dozen protesters escorted out by  police after Trevino issued repeated warnings to opponents about  disruptions.   

Opponents of moving the cenotaph say they’ll continue to attend future  meetings and solicit support from state-level elected officials for  their position. 

One thing that helped push the plan over the top was the support of the Fiesta Commission, which had been concerned that the closure of Alamo Street would derail the Battle of Flowers Parade, which exists to honor the defenders of the Alamo, and always involves a wreath laying and other ceremony at the Alamo.

"The alternative route for the Fiesta parades will pass by the original entrance to the Alamo along the Crockett Street right of way," the Commission said in a statement.  

"The non-historic stone wall around the Alamo Gardens, and the arcade that leads to the chapel will be removed to enable clear views of the Alamo chapel from the parade route."

Trevino says the plan as voted on now goes to city and state officials  for review and approval. 

Mayor Ron Nirenberg then will decide when to  place the item on City Council’s agenda for consideration and a vote,  which could happen before the end of 2018. 

The plan was endorsed by Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, whose office owns the Alamo.

"Today's  vote by the Citizens Advisory Committee is an encouraging step forward  in our effort to preserve and restore the Alamo and its battleground for  generations of Texans to come," Bush said. "There  is no greater defining symbol of Texas than the Alamo. The Alamo plan  protects the sacred ground and reclaims history lost to the ages. I look  forward to the Alamo Management Committee now voting to advance this  plan to restore the Alamo to its former glory." 

PHOTO: Protester Paul Gescheidle storms out of City  Council chambers steps ahead of police after shouting his opposition to  Thursday evening's vote by the Alamo Citizens Advisory Committee to  adopt a redesign plan for the historic site and surrounding area that  includes relocating the cenotaph, a monument to the Alamo defenders.  Photo by Morgan Montalvo

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