Council members praise direction of new Alamo Plan

Key changes include not moving the Cenotaph, blocking off the plaza, or lowering the ground level

Alamo Citizen Advisory Committee meeting on Wednesday night to discuss future of Alamo Plaza
Alamo Citizen Advisory Committee meeting on Wednesday night to discuss future of Alamo Plaza

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio City Council members generally showed support for the broad strokes of a revamped Alamo Plan on Wednesday.

The plan’s future was uncertain following a September vote by the Texas Historical Commission that blocked a controversial, but central component to the plan - moving the Cenotaph. The new version presented to council members on Wednesday afternoon, however, would not move the monument to the fallen Alamo defenders.

Additionally, the plan would not lower the ground level to mark the original footprint or use railings around the site, which were also controversial elements of the previous plan. Instead, the site would be marked off by the use of distinct pavers or stones.

The plan still calls for shutting down area streets to most vehicular traffic, However, parades like the Battle of Flowers would still be able to pass through the plaza - unlike in the previous version.

The changes to traffic could start soon, with city staff recommending the portion of Alamo Street between Houston Street and Crockett Street to be permanently closed by June 1.

“It’s very much within our reach for this to be a world-class outdoor promenade facility that you might see in only a handful of cities in the world. I’m really, really excited about the presentation you gave,” said District 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval.

The City of San Antonio, the Texas General Land Office, and Alamo Trust have been working on the Alamo Plan since 2015, with the goal of redesigning Alamo Plaza, restoring the Long Barracks and church, and adding a new museum and visitors center. Under the plan, the GLO, which already manages the Alamo, would lease the plaza from the city for at least 50 years and take control of its daily operations.

The city council is scheduled to vote on Apr. 15 on a revised ground lease and operating agreement with the GLO, which would include the changes to the plan. Assistant City Manager Lori Houston said it would maintain the city’s current financial commitment - $38 million.

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