Committee to decide new Alamo Plaza plan

Officials want to create more reverent atmosphere around landmark

SAN ANTONIO – The Alamo is the undisputed king of San Antonio tourist attractions, but some city leaders are wondering whether it receives the respect it deserves.

Although the prized piece of Texas history draws big crowds on a daily basis, officials believe the area surrounding Alamo Plaza, which includes gift-shops and other tourist attractions like Ripley's Believe It or Not, could be more in-line with the Alamo's historical significance.

"I think you can look at that space and know that it could be better, and as a city we can show it more respect," said District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal.

On Wednesday, the city council's Governance Committee approved a plan to create the Alamo Plaza Advisory Committee.

The group will look at previous development plans done in 1994 and 2012, decide what features they like, and create a new master plan.

"I think the Alamo has meant so many different things to different people. Everybody wants their story told and they end up competing," Bernal said. "What we need to do is acknowledge that all those stories are important, all those stories are relevant and find a way to bring them together."

Tourists visiting the Alamo on Wednesday said the city should make the space more awe-inspiring.

"It's revered ground, people lost their lives at this place," said Plainview resident Ted Wilson. "I think there needs to be that balance of reverence plus the attraction around [the Alamo]."

"It's kind of sad," said Idaho resident Skye Fassett. "I just don't see where it all fits in with historical things and then really weird stuff."

Bernal agreed and said although shovel-ready projects are still several years away, the time for action is now.

"We've talked about it for decades, now we've got to get it done," he said.

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