After years of debate and months of sometimes confrontational public hearings, representatives of the three groups that will pay for the estimated $300 million 'reimagining' of Alamo Plaza Tuesday night finally agreed on a long range plan, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The plan still has to be rubber stamped by San Antonio City Council, but as one of the three stakeholders is the City, that approval is expected to be understood.
The other two organizations involved in the master planning process are the private Alamo Endowment, and the Texas General Land Office.
The highlights of the final plan are as follows:
1) The size of Alamo Plaza will be expanded from the current 1.3 acres to 12.6 acres. About half of that will be designated as 'civic space' for parades, rallies, political demonstrations, etc. and the rest, which is essentially the footprint of the old Alamo Mission, will become an 'outdoor museum,' a designated historic site.
2) Alamo St. north of Commerce St., Houston St. from Broadway to E. 3rd St. and Crockett St. from Bonham to Losoya Sts. will be closed permanently and dismantled, to become part of the expanded Alamo Plaza.
3) The 1936 era Cenotaph will be removed from its current location, which will be inside the designated historic area, and will be relocated 'to an area within Alamo Plaza,' presumably to be south of the historic area near the site of the Menger Hotel.
4) The historic district, and designated Mission footprint, will be deliniated with tangIble barriers, presumably a waist high rail, with six entry points to facilitate easy entrance and exit.
5) The historic site will be open 24 hours a day 7 days a week for free, and will be open to everybody for any legal purpose.
6) Special arrangements will be made for Fiesta related events, including the Battle of Flowers Parade, to continue to include the Alamo as part of their route.
7) The three historic buildings which now front the Alamo on the west side of Alamo St, the Crockett, Palace, and Woolworth blocks, will be studied by an engineer to determine if they are structurally capable of housing a world class indoor museum to house the Phil Collins Collection and other artifacts. If not, they will be demolished and a new, appropriate building will be constructed on the site. The museum, which will be included in the historic site, will also be open to the public for free.
Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, who has made Alamo renovation the key issue of his tenure, praised the vote.
"Today's vote by the Alamo Management Committee brings the Alamo one step closer to restoring its former glory," Bush said. "The Alamo is a symbol known across Texas as a beacon of liberty and freedom from an oppressive government. In 2015, the Texas Legislature mandated the General Land Office enter into an agreement with the City of San Antonio to coordinate the improvement of the Alamo complex. Making good on this directive, the Alamo preservation plan will repair and preserve the Alamo, restoring reverence to the land the defenders gave their lives upon. I look forward to voting with the Mayor on this plan and will move quickly in adherence with the Management Committee's suggested dates. This plan is four years in the making and its goal is for all Texans to Remember the Alamo."