The Alamo’s official website, www.thealamo.org, received an interactive makeover as a “first step” to bring Texas’ most visited tourism destination into the 21st century. The redesign was announced Monday via news release from the Texas General Land Office (GLO), which took over management of the Alamo last summer and is overseeing a master plan to reimagine the Alamo Plaza Historic District.
The website – filled with video, historic timelines, an event calendar, online store, virtual tour and information about visiting the historic mission in person – was designed in-house by the GLO and is hosted by Amazon Web Services to serve its more than 200,000 unique monthly visitors, according to the GLO. About 2.5 million people come to the Alamo every year.
“The Alamo is where Texas’ spirit of independence began and one of my top priorities is to help those across Texas to rediscover this sacred site,” stated Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush. “The newly redesigned website has an innovative design that integrates advanced video technology that gives visitors a taste of the Alamo’s 300 year history. I encourage Texans to visit the Alamo virtually at TheAlamo.org, and then come to the heart of San Antonio for the true experience.”
The website features a responsive design that accommodates for the screen sizes of different devices including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Considerations were also made for site accessibility for visitors with disabilities.
“This new Alamo site helps us take this legendary story of sacrifice and courage to the world in a fresh, new, relevant, and beautiful format,” said Becky Dinnin, Alamo director. “It uses cutting edge technology and enables us to do more, and provide an exciting online experience that was never before possible.”
Meanwhile, Preservation Design Partnership, a Philadelphia-based firm, is working on the Alamo Plaza’s physical overhaul alongside local parters via an agreement between the City, GLO and the Alamo Endowment. The highly-anticipated plan is expected to be complete by spring 2017 and officials hope the bulk of the work will be done by the City’s Tricentennial celebration in 2018.
The state purchased three historic buildings across from the Alamo in December 2015, but officials have yet to release their intentions. Longterm leases are in place with its current tenants. Most are tourist attractions unrelated to Alamo Plaza – save for proximity – including Guinness World Records Museum, Tomb Raider 3D, Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, apparel store Del Sol, and Grand Trolley Tours.
Controversial ideas to move or remove the buildings in order to restore the mission’s original 1700s footprint or that of the 1836 Battle of the Alamo have been criticized by other local historic preservationists.
Top image: Screen shot of the newly-redesigned www.thealamo.org.
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