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The Alamo Enters a New Era: ‘Preserve, Repair and Improve’

A major plant to repair and restore the Alamo was announced by Land Commissioner George P. Bush (R) San Antonio on Wednesday. Before the end of the year, visitors will see work being done through the entire complex. A planned 31.5 million dollars will be spent over the next few years as the historic mission moves into its 4th century.

In a front page story in the San Antonio Express-News, they quote State Sen. José Menéndez (D-San Antonio) saying the area has long needed millions of dollars for structural repairs, preservation, and upgrades, along with aesthetic enhancements to add a greater sense of reverence.

The changes to the historic site are being called “dramatic” and will commence within months, as the long-overlooked stonework will be stabilized and repaired as needed.

It would be easy to characterize recent years changes in control of the historic Texas icon as the most dramatic in the Alamo’s history since 1836. First, with the Texas General Land Office assuming control over the entire site. And then, the United Nations recognized the San Antonio mission as a World Heritage Site.

State Rep. Diego Bernal (D-San Antonio) said he believed “from this day forward, this place will change.” He added, “This place is part of our collective DNA.”  Bernal led a panel as a city councilman that developed goals and vision statements for the master plan process.

A combination of state and city bond money will make the transformation complete. The state biannual budget includes $5 million for high priority upgrades and preservation. Another $25 million is planned for the master plan and ancillary projects. Meanwhile, the City of San Antonio has plans to issue $17 million in certificates of obligation for capital improvements in and around the Alamo. That money is subject to change, and will require City Council approval.

Mayor Ivy Taylor of San Antonio says the master plan, the state money, and designation in July of the Alamo and four other San Antonio missions as an internationally recognized World Heritage Site “signify a new era for the Alamo and San Antonio.”

In addition to that, the donation of Alamo artifacts from legendary rocker Phil Collins requires a permanent museum for the proper display of the collection by 2021. Senator Menéndez said it also will include the story of the Mission San Antonio de Valero as a part of a small settlement that is now the center of a major American city. “That museum needs to have, also, the very beginnings, and it needs to be inclusive of all of the different groups,” he said.

A State law is now in effect requiring the State and City to work together to develop a master plan for the Alamo and plaza area, and have a team work on developing that plan within a year.

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas, the heritage group that operated the site from 1905 until the State of  Texas ousted the group July 10, in a statement said it was “pleased the Legislature is moving forward with this level of funding for our state’s most revered landmark.”

Rob Milford is a news contributor to Breitbart Texas and a frequent visitor to the Alamo. You can follow him on Facebook

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