The Alamo Long Barrack, one of only two structures at the historic site from the original mission era, reopened to visitors this week after two years of preservation work.

The oldest building on the Alamo site, the limestone barrack housed Spanish missionaries almost 300 years ago and served as a shelter for Alamo defenders during the 1836 Battle of the Alamo. It was closed in 2019 for archaeological investigations to assess its condition.

“This preservation work could not have occurred without closing the Long Barrack,” Alamo Conservator Pamela Jary Rosser said in a news release. “We performed assessments of the condition of the walls above and below grade, and used state-of-the-art technology during our investigations. With the data we have now, a long-term preservation plan for this historic building is currently underway.”

Unlike the Alamo Church and guided tours of the site, the Long Barrack will not require a timed ticket to visit and is free to the public during normal operating hours.

“We are thrilled that visitors will once again be able to learn about the 1836 battle inside the Long Barrack,” said Kate Rogers, executive director of the Alamo Trust, the nonprofit steward of the site. “The Long Barrack is one of the most important historical artifacts in Texas, along with the Alamo Church — experiencing it in person is a must for all Texans.”

Inside the barrack, visitors can learn about the people who worked, lived, and died at the Alamo throughout its 300-year history. Early next year, a new exhibit will open that will provide a deeper look into the archeological history of the one-story structure, which was originally a two-story convento.

The Alamo Trust is working on a multimillion-dollar redevelopment plan for the historic mission and plaza. Construction on an exhibition hall began in August, and Alamo officials last month selected the same architect to design a new Alamo museum.

Iris Dimmick

Senior Reporter Iris Dimmick covers public policy pertaining to social issues, ranging from affordable housing and economic disparity to policing reform and workforce development. Contact her at iris@sareport.org