“No one has yet
implemented a grand
vision for giving the
Alamo a comprehensive perspective, connecting
the historical dots,
as it were.”

~ Gary Cartwright, 
Senior Editor,
Texas Monthly
Magazine,
November 2008

 

 

Reclaim rollover

 

Alamo Plaza
Renovation Features
 

Plaza Plan


1) Closure of vehicle traffic on Alamo Street. Restore the integrity of the original mission compound and its historical boundaries.

Traffic photo 2Traffic photo 1    Visitors to Alamo Plaza are often bom-
barded by an on-
slaught of traffic noise. Car horns, loud music,screeching tires, noisy vehicle engines, and malodorous exhaust fumes, mar any chance for people to experience something authentic. Pedestrian safety also remains a great concern due to Alamo Street’s close proximity to the Plaza, the Alamo Cenotaph, and other local attractions.

2) Recreate southern enclosure of the Alamo compound including the Low Barracks, defensive lunette, and main gate entrance.

Low BarracksJim Bowie   The Low Barracks and the Alamo’s main gate are of particular historical significance. An east room of this large stone structure is where legendary hero James Bowie is reported to have been killed when Mexican soldados burst into his room as he lay ill. The defensive lunette – an earthen fortification – was constructed for the purpose of protecting the main gate.

3) Recreate the southwest corner of the Alamo and the entire length of the original west wall to Houston Street.

Travis letter

    The ground where the West Wall of the Alamo once stood also has important historical value. Along the western wall of the old plaza, several adobe structures existed. During the famous siege in 1836, these adobe buildings offered protection for both the Texan defenders and non-combatants alike. The Alamo’s largest cannon, the famous 18-pounder, fired defiance at Santa Anna from the southwest corner. Most importantly, the headquarters of the Alamo was situated along the west wall. From this location, the young commander of the fort, fiery William Barret Travis, composed his famous letter of appeal. The Plaza Project proposes that the old structures that presently occupy the western boundary of the Plaza be removed/relocated and the West Wall of the Alamo be restored to its 1836 appearance. This initiative includes the recreation of Travis’ Headquarters and the 18-pounder gun position.
West Wall

4) Relocate the Cenotaph to either the southern end of the Plaza near Alamo Street and directly in front of the Menger Hotel, or along the old Alameda on Commerce Street.

    The Alamo Cenotaph is a powerful tribute to the ordinary men who did extraordinary things. This beautiful monument to heroism and self-sacrifice is too large for its present location and actually dwarfs the “Shrine.” By moving the Cenotaph to a different location, the Alamo can once again, become the focus of attention. Additionally, the Plaza will become a “true” Plaza by creating a natural space typically associated with Spanish architecture.Cenotaph

5) Transform the old Post Office/Federal Building at the north end of Alamo Plaza into a major world-class multi-media center and museum. It will also house the new Center for Texas History for educational and interpretive workshops, and digital linkage to international institutions.

    Post Office picsAcquisition and conversion of the old Post Office is the corner stone of the Plaza Project. This huge, under-utilized facility, owned and operated by the federal government, has the potential necessary for becoming a first-class museum. The architecture blends in with the historic theme of the Plaza. The location is ideal – built on the section of north wall where Travis is believed to have fought to the death – it is already part of the Alamo. Its immense size of three hundred thousand square feet would provide enough space to accommodate all of Texas’ historic treasures as well as state-of-the-art interactive and interpretive exhibits, with room for lecture halls, archeological workshops, and an artifact repository. The proposed permanent themes are:
      The Texas Revolution
      The Spanish and Tejano Legacy
      The Westward Expansion
      Plaza History
      Alamo Pop Culture.

6) Increased emphasis on the role of the Tejano community and the Tejanos who fought for Texas independence.

    Juan SeguinToribio LosoyaMany have the misconception that the fight for independence was a conflict between white or Anglo Texans and the Mexican Army led by General Santa Anna without realizing the significant contributions and sacrifices Tejanos made in the cause of freedom. A clearer and more complete interpretation of the historical events that forever shaped Texas’ social and political landscape needs to be presented.

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