“I’m afraid we're
in danger of losing
our history."

~ Richard B. Winders, 
Alamo Curator, 
Historian, Author

 

 

Reclaim rollover

 

 

Interpreting
Alamo History
 

Alamo mission

    Questions have arisen as to the period of history the Alamo Plaza Restoration Project intends to focus on. Will it center on the early mission period when the Spanish Church first established Mission San Antonio de Valero (The Indian quartersAlamo) and the other river missions? Will the era when the mission Indians inhabited the buildings and worked the land be represented? What about when the mission was secularized and Spain – then Mexico – used the Alamo as a military outpost? Is the Project going to focus exclusively on the historic battle? What about the history of the Alamo after Texas won its independence? The answer to these questions is simple: The plan and the goal of the Plaza Project are to present the whole story of the Alamo but with emphasis placed on the military usage of the mission.

Downtown SA    As we have seen by examining the mission’s post-revolution history, the Alamo has existed on a tenuous lifeline beginning almost immediately after the famous battle. In the decades that preceded the heroic battle, the town of San Antonio experienced substantial growth in its population. Land, especially within the city limits, was a highly sought commodity and the Alamo witnessed significant property development on its ever-shrinking borders. Buildings of different shapes and sizes began to spring-up all around the military postAlamo to the point where the revered old mission was being crowded out and threatened with extinction. Even up until the early 1900’s, real estate speculators and developers cast a hungry eye upon the mission property – indifferent to its unique and diverse history. But the Alamo survived total destruction due to the role it played in Texas’ struggle for independence. Were it not for the famous battle and its links to legendary heroes, the mission would have succumbed to urban sprawl and been destroyed in favor of city expansion. It’s safe to conclude that, were it not for the vital function it served during the revolution, the Alamo would have garnered little more than a footnote in our history books. Were it not used as a military post and a bastion for freedom, the Alamo would have become an innocuous memory, its history unknown…its story untold with nothing more than an obscure and faded signpost to mark its existence.

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