“The present state
of Alamo Plaza
eviscerates the memory
of the event and people
who fought there.”

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

 

 

Reclaim rollover

 

 

Alamo Under Seige:
A Perpetual Tragedy
 

Alamo cover art    Although the Alamo we can see and visit today – the Church and the Long Barrack – remains protected from the developer’s wrecking-ball, it is not immune to the encroachment and the ravages of exploitation from commercial enterprises and self-interest groups. From a certain standpoint, it remains under siege. Alamo Plaza is an extension of the mission that, in 1836, became an ensanguined battlefield and then an enshrined symbol of freedom. Today, Alamo Plaza has turned into a haven for tawdry businesses, political rallies, demonstrations, grandstanding, parades, disruptive protests, and snack vendors. The increasing threat of vandalism has prompted the DRT to install monitoring equipment and hire full-time guards in order to keep the Alamo protected.protests

   Recently, and most alarming, is news the city is contemplating building a mass transportation system or Light Rail through Alamo Plaza.  While we do not advocate or object to the overall concept of San Antonio employing a Light Rail system in the downtown area we strongly oppose any incursion into historic Alamo Plaza.

   Presently, the designers envision laying track down along Alamo Street, bisecting Alamo Plaza and running streetcars practically at the doorstep of the Alamo.  This portion of the Light Rail plan is totally unacceptable to those who hold dear Texas’ unique and proud history.  The sanctity and integrity of Alamo Plaza must be protected… never compromised.  The suffering and sacrifice of the fallen combatants should never be forgotten or dishonored.  We can do better.

   Proponents of the Light Rail believe their plan will provide an economic boon to downtown area businesses.  This is a highly subjective and debatable claim.  Introducing a mass transportation system into the heart of San Antonio would contrast sharply with the historic theme of the area and mar the unique Spanish setting visitors crave.  A Light Rail system through Alamo Plaza could prove to be more of a determent to the local economy by tarnishing the city’s image as a historical and culturally sensitive destination.  Visitors to the Alamo want to enjoy authentic Texas history.  They come to absorb the rich Spanish heritage of the region and walk the paths of legendary men.  The intrusion of an unnecessary modern conveyance will have a largely negative impact on their experience.     

   Measures need to be adopted to make Alamo Plaza a more “pedestrian friendly” environment – not less.  It is our firm belief the implementation of the Alamo Plaza Restoration Project will do more to boost San Antonio’s economy and reputation then the ninety million dollar Light Rail system that has been proposed.  We can do better.

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