State Studies the Future of the Alamo
Change is coming to the Alamo, but not fast enough for some people.
A new Alamo custodian, a city bond issue and efforts to revitalize downtown San Antonio are driving a fresh outlook for the site of an early Spanish mission and the famous 1836 battle during the short war for Texas independence.
Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson is the new chief custodian of the Alamo complex, and he’s focusing on preserving the Alamo’s nearly 300-year-old buildings and sharing the diverse story of Texas.
Changes are already in progress at the Alamo, under a new state law that gave oversight to the General Land Office. GLO spokesman Mark Loeffler says the Alamo will put more emphasis on its mission era and contributions of Spaniards, Mexicans, Native Americans and others, while still sharing tales of folk heroes such as Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie.
Like the other historic Spanish missions in San Antonio, the Alamo charges no admission. It has three 3 million visitors each year with a staff of nearly 100 people, but it still needs private donations for structural preservation. The Land Office hopes to fix that with use of a new Alamo trademark and logo that can be used to sell products to benefit the site.
The public will have a rare chance this Wednesday to sound off on plans for the city-owned Alamo Plaza – once the home of indigenous people of Mission San Antonio de Valero, and later the site of heavy bloodshed at the Alamo.
This will come at a workshop on the city’s concept for the plaza and $1.2 million budgeted for the site in a bond election set for May 12th.
The Daughters of the Republic of Texas are still the Alamo’s onsite managers and tour guides who staff and manage the gift shops and historic exhibits. The General Land Office is now the Alamo’s official and legal “custodian”, responsible for overall long term care.