San Antonio commission approves new location for Cenotaph

SAN ANTONIO – The city’s Historic and Design Review Commission approved the first phase of the Alamo Plaza redesign Wednesday after it was tabled two weeks ago.

The commission voted 7-4 to approve a new location for the Cenotaph. It will be moved near the gazebo with the Spirit of Sacrifice facing the church.

The first phase also includes street and landscape improvements.

Maggie Wright, who is against the plan, showed up to speak at Wednesday’s meeting.

“I’m very disappointed. We as Texans have not had a say in this. I traveled all over the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I live in Burleson. People don’t even know that they are going to move the Cenotaph. We have to now depend on the lawsuit,” Wright said.

The commission had tabled the item two weeks ago because of concerns over a pending lawsuit between a local indigenous group and the state and city. The lawsuit is over human remains found buried at the Alamo.

Ramon Vasquez, executive officer of the Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation, said it is now up to the courts to decide.

“This is still in federal court. So the question is, ‘Will the federal judge rule that this is a cemetery?’ And then the HDRC will have to revisit its decision,” Vasquez said.

Commissioner Gabriel Velasquez had concerns, too. He voted against moving forward with the plan because he worries more human remains could be found.

People in favor of the project also shared their opinions.

“I wasn’t for moving the Cenotaph to start with when they wanted to put it at the park on Market Street, but the new plan calls for the same proximity in the Alamo on the south side battlegrounds so we can reclaim the battlefield itself. I’m all for that,” said Forrest Byas, a supporter of the redesign plan.

Alamo Trust, Inc., the nonprofit corporation that oversees daily operations at the Alamo, released the following statement:

District 1 Councilman Roberto Trevino released the following statement:

To see a copy of the Alamo Plaza redesign that was approved by the city, click here.

About the Authors

Tiffany Huertas is a reporter for KSAT 12 known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.

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