The Texas General Land Office (GLO) moves to restore honor to the area surrounding the grounds of the Alamo. Contracts are now in place for the state of Texas to purchase three buildings located directly across the street from Texas’ most sacred shrine. The buildings currently are home to businesses that provide a more carnival-like atmosphere instead of the reverential setting many prefer.
The move to purchase the buildings comes as part of an on-going campaign to restore the Alamo and make the facility more reflective of the nature of the battle that took place on these grounds in 1836. The GLO took over responsibility of the maintenance and general operation of the Alamo in 2011.
The Land Office had entered into a contract with Service Life and Causality Insurance Company to purchase the Woolworth, Crockett and Palace buildings, according to a statement from the GLO obtained by Breitbart Texas. The sale process is currently going through a due diligence period that includes inspections of the buildings’ conditions. The GLO expects to close on the purchase of the buildings by the end of the year.
As the buildings are currently under lease, the public will not notice changes right away. “While there will be no immediate change, we anticipate the purchase of these buildings to be a significant consideration in the long-term master planning process.” GLO Press Secretary Brittany Eck wrote. “We will not be speculating on the future use of these buildings at this time. The GLO and Alamo Endowment Board are looking forward to working with their partners in the city of San Antonio on the master planning process to create a comprehensive plan for the future of the Alamo.”
Many history buffs have long complained that the plaza surrounding the Alamo does not reflect the reverence deserved to those who died to defend liberty and Texas, according to an article posted by the San Antonio Express-News. The site of the three buildings to be acquired is now filled with raspa vendors, heavy traffic, street preachers and amusement attractions.
The purchase “could be a significant first step in the makeover of Alamo Plaza into a place of historical, educational and cultural importance,” Bill Chemerka, founder of the Alamo Society told the Express-News. He said he hopes there will be progress made to improve the facility before its bicentennial in 2036.
The GLO will continue to work with the City of San Antonio to develop a master plan for restoring the Alamo and the surrounding plaza.
In October, 2014, then Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, accepted a donation of relics of the Alamo from British pop-music legend Phil Collins, an avid Alamo history buff. “Texans are deeply indebted to Phil Collins,” Patterson said at the time. “Now these Texas treasures need a home where all can see them and study from them and learn about how Texans won our liberty.”
In September, 2015, Commissioner George P. Bush stood with San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor in front of the Alamo to announce the establishment of a $31.5 million fund to develop the restoration master plan, according to a Breitbart Texas article by Rob Milford.
A combination of state and city bond money will make the transformation complete, Milford wrote. 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.
The State of Texas formally assumed control of the Alamo from the Daughters of the Republic of Texas in March, Breitbart Texas reported. Since that time, the GLO and the City of San Antonio have continued to move forward with steps to raise the level of respect for this sacred shrine of Texas.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.
Editor’s Note: The General Land Office took responsibility for managing the Alamo in 2011, not 2001 as this article previously stated.