Redesigning The Alamo Presents A Unique Challenge

Jun 30, 2016

Redesigning the Alamo will be a greater challenge than redesigning the ancient monuments in Athens Greece. That's according to the master planner who will oversee the redevelopment .  The San Antonio City Councilon Wednesday learned the transformation will require some digging.

Alamo Master Planner George Skarmeas told the San Antonio City Council there’s a lot historians don’t know about the Alamo.

“There is not a single place, book, publication, dissertation, whatever, that has assembled all the pieces of the history of the Alamo. People have written things about this, that, but no one took all the pieces to say here’s what happened here.”

Skarmeas is with the Preservation Design Partnership, one of two people leading the design team that will recreate the original Alamo.  He says the challenge is unique.

“In most historic sites, it’s frozen in time. Here we need to have both the historic aspect and the contemporary aspect living together.”

To make that happen restoration teams will dig.  There will be at least two archeological digs. Gene Powell, Chair of the Alamo Management Committee says some the original boundary walls of the Alamo Mission were never found.

“So that’s one thing. We don’t know where the gate was exactly. We know from drawings it was somewhere along the south wall. We would like to uncover the gate and find where the entry was. Until we can know the physical boundaries of the site, we really can’t start to plan.

The Alamo Master Plan should be completed by next spring.  Construction on what comes out of that plan is expected to begin in 2021 and last about three years.

The City of San Antonio has contributed $17 million to renovate the Alamo.  The state is allocating $35 million.