“There are few
battlefields that are
known world-wide
and the Alamo is
one of them.
Fewer still are
such famous
battlefields treated
as an amusement
park where barkers
and tourists exchange
coin where men
suffered their last
terrified moments
in their world for
a cause they
believed in.”

~ Col. Allen C. Huffines, 
US Army, Ret,
Author, Historian

 

 

Reclaim rollover

 

 

Restoration
vs. “Artificial”
 

Alamo church original

    The Alamo itself has already been dramatically altered from its original appearance. The historic Convento and adjoining Long Barrack were physically changed by the U.S. Army in 1847-48 and then Alamo arcadeagain by the DRT and the city in the early 1900’s. Very little of the structure we view today is original. Most of what visitors see is actually a re-creation. The Alamo Church was subjected to restoration work in the 1850’s and had its 1836 appearance altered. In the 1930’s, an arched walkway or “arcade” was built against the southwest corner of the Church giving the impression it is part of the Alamo. And yet, in spite of these structural changes in the original and historical architecture, the vast majority people seem to accept the restored buildings without making the emotional charge of “fake.”

Texas re-creations   In Texas, several historical places were restored or rebuilt for the visitor's benefit. The Texan stronghold “Fort Defiance” at Goliad defended by Col. James Walker Fannin and nearly 400 Texan volunteers was recreated and looks quite authentic. Through the efforts of the San Antonio Conservation Society, the Mission San Jose was beautifully restored to its early 1800 appearance. The fact that these structures were greatly improved upon from their original condition does not detract from them in any way, nor does it diminish a visitor’s experience. They were restored tastefully and accurately. Tourists appreciate the opportunity to see and touch history as it may have appeared some 200 years ago.

Valley Forge cabinhistoric re-creations   There are a great many battlefields and historical sites throughout our country. Each location employs restored buildings or other significant structures to accurately present the story to the inquiring visitor. Historic places like Gettysburg, Bull Run, Shiloh, Antietam, Valley Forge, Mount Vernon, Yorktown, Jamestown, and Williamsburg all utilize rebuilt and historically accurate structures using the identical materials (where possible) with scholarly support to enhance the visitor’s experience and to provide a more correct interpretation about the event that occurred at that particular setting. Fully reconstructed in 1976, Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site in eastern Colorado features an 1840’s adobe fur trading post that attracts thousands of visitors each year. The fact the fort is a total re-creation has not kept tourists from exploring their heritage and having a positive experience.

room    So as we can see, authentic re-creations are quite common to our national battlefields and numerous historical sites around the country. Not only are they widely employed by the National Park Service, they are universally accepted by millions of tourists because they help tell the story. Faithful and complete historical reconstructions help provide for a more accurate interpretation and a greater emotional impact for the visitor and student.

Alamo window   The Alamo Plaza Restoration Project is committed to excellence and authenticity. The restored South and West Wall will not be constructed from non-authentic materials. The Project will consult some of the most knowledgeable historical authorities available in the re-creation of the Plaza. The materials utilized will be identical to what the Spanish builders used when the Alamo was built in the 1700’s – stone and adobe brick. Every effort will be made to construct the buildings to exact specifications – accurate in every detail. It will appear to the visitor as if the structures have always been there.

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