Aerial renderings depict the plaza with four different options including historic buildings and facades.
Aerial renderings depict the plaza with four different "options" for the historic buildings and Alamo Museum. Credit: Courtesy / Texas General Land Office

While a controversial plan for the Alamo, its plaza, and the surrounding area is being vetted by committees and the public at-large, officials are moving forward with two key components for the proposed “world-class” Alamo Museum.

The Alamo Management Committee on Tuesday posted two requests for qualifications (RFQs) on the Texas Comptroller’s website for the architectural design and an architect of record to work on the proposed 130,000-square-foot museum.

“The Alamo Plan Committee is adamant that the firms chosen for these positions have outstanding and relevant resumes,” a news release sent by the Alamo Trust, which manages the Alamo, stated Wednesday.

The firm that fulfills the architect of record duties must be licensed in the state of Texas and will be responsible for submitting the building application, project drawings, and building specifications. For large projects, the architect of record typically works with another firm contracted for the design. Neither the architect of record nor the designer has to be a Texas or San Antonio firm.

“The goal is to have a world-class museum and visitor center in place in time for the 300th anniversary of the Alamo being moved to its current location, and that will occur in 2024,” said Gene Powell, chair of the Remember The Alamo Foundation that was formed to raise money for the museum. Powell is also a member of the Alamo Trust and Alamo Endowment boards.

Interested firms will submit their experience and résumé – not museum design proposals – as the plaza design is still underway, pending approval from San Antonio City Council and the Alamo Executive Committee. The latter is comprised of Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush.

The fates of three historic buildings – the Woolworth, Palace, and Crockett – have yet to be decided after master planners suggested some or all could be demolished or incorporated into a new building.

That idea and proposals to close surrounding streets, restrict public access to the plaza, and move the Alamo Cenotaph have been the plan’s most contentious elements.

“We are also releasing an RFQ for a firm to do a study on the three buildings following the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties,” Alamo CEO Douglass McDonald said. “We will assess each building individually and in detail. This will then be provided to the museum designer as part of the design process.”

The deadline for submitting questions is Aug. 15, and the deadline to apply is Aug. 24 at 3 p.m. According to the RFQ, the committee expects to interview firms that made it onto a shortlist in early October and award the contract on Oct. 15.

The six-member Alamo Management Committee is comprised of two members each from the City of San Antonio, Texas General Land Office, and Alamo Endowment.

The next meetings of the Alamo Citizens Advisory Committee and public information meeting have yet to be scheduled.

Senior Reporter Iris Dimmick covers public policy pertaining to social issues, ranging from affordable housing and economic disparity to policing reform and mental health. She was the San Antonio Report's...