City of San Antonio, state teaming up on Alamo makeover plan


San Antonio is teaming up with state officials to create a master plan for a makeover of the Alamo and its surrounding plaza, hoping a major face-lift can again make the iconic site worthy of its “Remember the Alamo” rallying cry.

Land Commissioner George P. Bush said Friday that planning will take a year, with recommendations ready perhaps by 2016. San Antonio will contribute $1 million to the planning process through an existing bond program, and Bush’s agency will cover any additional costs. But it remains unclear where the massive amount of state funding needed for any proposed revamp will come from.

The plan will focus on revamping the Alamo as part of a larger look of the surrounding grounds. The project comes after state reports in recent years detailed some disrepair, including cracked, leaky roofs and rising dampness on the walls. Last month, Texas ended its contract with the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, which had overseen the Alamo since 1905. The group has since sued for control of more than 30,000 books and artifacts at its library.

The downtown San Antonio shrine is the site of an 1836 battle in which 180 Texas defenders were killed during a siege by Mexican forces. Weeks later, those deaths provided Texas soldiers with the “Remember the Alamo!” mantra, which they carried to victory at the Battle of San Jacinto. That battle clinched Texas’ independence from Mexico.

“This alliance is long overdue and also very encouraging for all of us who treasure the Alamo,” Bush said in a statement. “Together we will create a strategic vision and work toward our common goal of restoring the Shrine of Texas Liberty to a site worthy of its noble roots.”

Bush, nephew of former President George W. Bush and son of potential 2016 White House candidate Jeb Bush, was elected land commissioner in November, but already has overseen swift-moving changes at the Alamo. His agency also administers Texas’ vast holdings of public lands and mineral resources.

San Antonio state Sen. José Menéndez has proposed a constitutional amendment that would let voters decide whether to spend $250 million in state funds to improve the Alamo plaza. But it’s unclear if that will pass the Legislature to ever make it to the ballot.

“We must create an educational experience where visitors leave inspired by the storied history and sacrifices the Alamo represents,” Menéndez said in a statement Friday.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Texas News & Politics

Hope Outdoor Gallery plans a big move in 2018
Hope Outdoor Gallery plans a big move in 2018

For six years, the downtown HOPE Outdoor Gallery has elevated Austin’s street art and graffiti scene and has become an integral part of the city’s creative spirit. It’s been the site of dozens of marriage proposals and countless music videos, baby announcements and family portraits. But now the gallery on Baylor Street is moving to...
Giving City: Nonprofit to create new clinic for HIV/AIDS
Giving City: Nonprofit to create new clinic for HIV/AIDS

This month, AIDS Services of Austin announced it would build the city’s first comprehensive, centralized medical home dedicated to treating and preventing HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The new clinic, which is scheduled to open in the spring on Cameron Road in Northeast Austin, would provide medical and preventive care for HIV-positive and...
Teacher accused of telling student ‘go back to Mexico’ is put on leave
Teacher accused of telling student ‘go back to Mexico’ is put on leave

About 120 parents Friday morning packed the library at Fulmore Middle School, seeking answers days after a campus protest in which students accused a teacher of telling a student to “go back to Mexico.” At the meeting Friday, parents pushed for details on what actions the district had taken against the teacher, some calling for her to be...
Susan Combs hits another roadblock on her way to Washington
Susan Combs hits another roadblock on her way to Washington

Former Texas Comptroller Susan Combs has hit yet another roadblock on the way to a U.S. Senate vote for a top position at the Interior Department. Her expected confirmation to be assistant secretary for policy, management and budget was already delayed by a logjam involving GOP senators over Environmental Protection Agency nominees. Previously, her...
DPS identifies motorcyclist killed on U.S. 79 near Hutto
DPS identifies motorcyclist killed on U.S. 79 near Hutto

A motorcyclist who was killed in a crash Thursday on U.S. 79 east of Hutto has been identified as 55-year-old Michael Bradford Simms of Austin, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Simms was traveling west on U.S. 79 when he crossed into the eastbound lanes and drove off the road, officials said. He fell off the left side of the motorcycle...
More Stories