City and State Partnering to Redevelop Alamo Plaza

October 15, 2015 by Bexar Witness Staff

The City of San Antonio and the Texas General Land Office are entering into a cooperative agreement with the Alamo Endowment to fund and oversee the development of a joint master plan.  Such a plan would be implemented for the Alamo Historic District and Alamo complex in an effort to revitalize the historic mission and preserve it while further redevelopment takes place around Alamo Plaza.  The San Antonio City Council will vote on the agreement on Oct. 15. Representatives from each organization will be at a formal ceremony at the Alamo later that day to sign the agreement.

The master planning process will be managed by the GLO and the endowment, in coordination with the city, and will benefit by an infusion of capital including $17 million previously approved by the council, $31 million approved by the state legislature, and potentially hundreds of millions of dollars raised privately by the endowment.

Alamo Plaza
Alamo Plaza

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and Mayor Ivy Taylor will serve as an executive committee, providing executive management oversight for a joint master plan. The executive committee will be advised by the Alamo Management Committee, which will consist of two representatives each from the city, the GLO and the Alamo Endowment.  The Alamo Management Committee will get input and advice from the Alamo Advisory Group, comprised of state and local elected officials and representatives, and by a citizens advisory group, comprised of 26 people appointed by the mayor, council and the GLO. The advisory group may meet bi-monthly and all meetings will be open to the public.

“A new dawn is rising at the Alamo and it is one rooted in collaboration and historical appreciation,” Bush said in a news release.  “I am energized by the relationship that is developing among state and local leaders, and with the community that surrounds, supports, and loves the Alamo. The members of the committees and advisory groups that are coming together under this Alamo Cooperative Agreement have demonstrated a steadfast and selfless dedication to preserving our sacred Shrine of Texas Liberty. This is a proud day for San Antonio residents, all Texans, and for all who remember the Alamo.”

“The City of San Antonio has worked tirelessly over the past several years to bring the Alamo Complex and the San Antonio Missions to the forefront,” mayor_select_3_said Taylor. “We won a huge victory by securing the World Heritage Designation this summer, and this agreement is evidence that we’ve now completely succeeded in bringing together the powerhouse fundraising and management of the Endowment and the oversight of the GLO. I’m pleased and proud to work closely with Commissioner Bush and all the citizens of San Antonio to create something exceptional here that honors our collective history.”

The Alamo Endowment is a nonprofit organized to help the GLO in preservation, management, operation and restoration of the Alamo complex. It is led by a board of directors, chaired by George P. Bush, and comprised of local and state business community leaders.  Although the city and the GLO have directed a master planning process for the Alamo complex since April, several laws enacted by the Texas Legislature during the 2015 session regarding oversight of the Alamo complex, and the San Antonio Missions designation as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in July significantly changed and broadened the scope of the effort.

“The World Heritage Designation is evidence that the scope of this project should go far beyond the Alamo. As the scope has grown dramatically, the management and fundraising efforts will have to grow to match the broader scope and goals,” said Gene Powell, chairman of the Alamo Endowment’s ‘Remember the Alamo Foundation.’  “The good news is that the UNESCO designation opens up international fundraising opportunities, which will make it possible to raise the funds necessary to implement this new master plan and tell the wonderful story of all five Missions.”  The General Land Office took over custodianship for The Alamo earlier this year. The state agency announced recently it seeks to buy three buildings across from the Alamo, supporting plans for a potential renovation of Alamo Plaza and the opening of a museum and visitors center for the famed mission.

“As a licensed architect and avid historian, I am thrilled by the opportunities we now have with this expanded scope and the means to hire the best professionals in their field to develop a master plan,” said District 1 Councilman Roberto Treviño.  “By entering into this agreement, we’ve essentially removed all the limits we were facing geographically and financially. The pieces are now in place to do this the right way and to create something we can be proud of for generations.”

Councilman Roberto Trevino
Councilman Roberto Trevino

“Although the Alamo is best-known for the Battle of 1836, the global community views the Alamo’s historical significance in a much broader context,” said Alamo Director Becky Dinnin.  “By engaging the Alamo Endowment and working in partnership with the city, we can develop a plan that honors those that sacrificed their lives at the Battle of the Alamo and the history of all the Missions collectively.”

Written by Bexar Witness Staff is your source for current construction, transportation, and water news and photos highlighting the growth of San Antonio, Texas.