Pedestrians cross Alamo Street. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Editor’s note: Since publication, this meeting has occurred. Click here to read about the proposed designs.

It’s been more than one year since the Alamo Master Plan design team released preliminary, conceptual renderings. Those drawings, which some officials acknowledge were premature, included glass walls lining the perimeter of a treeless and Cenotaph-less plaza.

Many San Antonians and several elected officials were appalled, to say the least. On Thursday, after one year of commentary and protest, new design consultants – working with the City of San Antonio and the State of Texas – will present new drawings.

They will be released on Thursday 6 p.m. at the Witte Museum’s Prassel Auditorium, during the Alamo Citizen Advisory Committee meeting there.

The public may “attend and listen” at the meeting, according to an event flyer, but there will be no structured opportunity for comment.

Four meetings for the public to provide input on the draft design will be held on June 18, 19, 20, and 21 at Ron Darner Park Operations Headquarters, Phil Hardberger Park Urban Ecology Center, Embassy Suites Hotel & Spa at Brooks, and the San Antonio Garden Center. All meetings will start at 6:30 p.m. More are expected as City Council members take their month-long break from regularly scheduled meetings in July.

The “ample opportunity” for public feedback that Mayor Ron Nirenberg asked for amid concerns about transparency will be granted, it seems.

The high-level, conceptual master plan for the estimated $450 million project was approved in May 2017 by City Council. Moving the Cenotaph and limiting streets to pedestrian traffic received “conceptual approval,” meaning those controversial elements could be part of the final plan.

The guiding principles for the Alamo Plaza redesign were developed by the Citizens Advisory Committee. They are:

  • The 1836 Battle of the Alamo, the most widely recognized event, provides an opportunity to tell the entire history of the Alamo area;
  • Unified leadership under the management of a single steward (public and private) with a sustainable business model;
  • Preservation and interpretation based on historical and archaeological evidence;
  • Embrace intellectual, experiential and physical accessibility;
  • Balance scholarship, historical context, folklore and myth to provide an engaging visitor experience
    Create a premier Visitor Experience through physical space and interpretation;
  • Embrace the continuum of history to foster understanding and healing;
  • Enhance connectivity and wayfinding to the river, neighborhoods, La Villita, the cathedral, and the other Plazas.

Click here to download the full committee report.

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