San Antonio City Council will take its most important vote in years on Thursday, as it is expected to sign off on the $300 million, six year plan to completely redesign Alamo Plaza, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Mayor Nirenberg, who has signed an agreement with the Texas General Land Office to begin the project, is pushing Council to approve the master plan, which has been hashed out over the last several years, and he says he is concentrating on shooting down 'urban legends' being circulated by plan opponents, like the claim that the plan will result in the Plaza being 'shut off from the public.'
"Which is absolutely not true," the Mayor told News Radio 1200 WOAI . "That was a foundational principle that it remains a civic space for San Antonio, and remains open and free 24/7."
Nirenberg says another claim he has heard from opponents is that moving the Cenotaph some 500 feet south, from the 'Historic Plaza' to the 'Civic Plaza' in the vastly expanded Alamo Plaza area, is somehow 'dishonoring the defenders.'
"We are honoring the defenders by making sure that the historical accuracy of the battlefield," he said. "At the same time, we are moving the Cenotaph to a place where it can have more honor and prestige."
The ordinance Council will vote on also calls for 'vacating and abandoning' sections of right away located on Alamo Plaza, Alamo Street, and Houston Street, as well as Blum, Crockett, and E Streets, which will be open only to pedestrian traffic.
The City will then lease Alamo Plaza to the GLO, and entering into a management agreement with the state, which will then move forward with implementing the master plan.
The Cenotaph will not only be moved, it will be restored, with the names of additional defenders who were not known in the 1930s, added.
After the City Council vote, the Texas Historical Commission Board is expected to rubber stamp the plan.
The first steps will be an engineering study on the Crockett, Woolworth, and Plaza Buildings to determine if they are sturdy enough to house the 'world class museum' which will be built on Alamo Plaza, as well as work to shore up and provide needed repairs to the Alamo and Long Barracks. That work should begin before the end of this year.