by Sarah J.F. Braley | May 12, 2017

The San Antonio City Council unanimously approved the Alamo Master Plan that will restore the Alamo Church and Long Barrack, and possibly close streets around the mission to traffic. A 135,000-square-foot visitor center and museum with a rooftop garden and restaurant overlooking the historic site also is part of the project.
 
"This unanimous vote by the San Antonio City Council moves the Alamo Master Plan one step further toward restoring dignity and reverence to the site where Texas' spirit of independence and liberty began in 1836," said George P. Bush, Texas land commissioner. "We spoke of the areas of strong consensus and heard from those concerned about detail elements of the plan. We are listening and considering options for revisions, but this vote was about continuing momentum and finding consensus on key concepts, such as preserving the Alamo Church and Long Barrack, restoring dignity to the site where the defenders died and building a museum worthy of telling the Alamo story. This is our chance to ensure that the Alamo's past is told to future generations, and to guarantee our grandkids get to learn about the heroism of the men and women who fought here, just like we did."
 
In the next phase, architects for the Plaza and Alamo Museum will be chosen and public meetings will be held; further action by the city council still might be needed. The vote did not address design elements of the plan; those will be determined after a continued public-input process and further study. 
 
The restoration segment could take four years or more. An intense conservation program is expected to include a wide range of tests to determine the level of deterioration and decay at the site and create a long-term program for the protection of the Alamo. 
 

The visitors center and museum would be carved out of the Crockett, Woolworth and Palace buildings, which have been acquired by the Texas General Land Office. The facades will be preserved and the interiors repurposed. Officials envision an extensive exhibit about the Battle of the Alamo and the display of thousands of artifacts, including those donated to the TGLO by musician Phil Collins, who spent decades buying and finding items related to the site. Collins has said he fell in love with the Alamo story as a kid, when he saw the Disney production of "Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier." He ended up amassing a priceless collection of artifacts, weapons, relics and original documents.

Photograph courtesy of Visit San Antonio