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Alamo Master Plan Proposes Closing Streets, Relocating Cenotaph Monument

Texas Public Radio

Plans unveiled on Wednesday for developing around the Alamo include the possibility of closing Alamo Street in front of the historic mission.  Planners also suggest moving the sacred Cenotaph monument.

The Cenotaph depicts the defenders of the Alamo and stands in front of the site.  Alamo Master Planner George Skarmeas told the San Antonio City Council Wednesday he'd like to move the Cenotaph to a location near the convention center. 

“It’s the right place because historic evidence and research indicates that this was a place where people were cremated. It was a place, a commemoration, and it was a sacred place,” Skarmeas said.

It's believed the convention center site is where the Mexican army burned the bodies of some Alamo defenders.

Skarmeas says closing Alamo Plaza to vehicle traffic is also a possibility. The proposed closures include Alamo Street from Houston to Market. Crockett Street near the Menger Hotel to Lasoya Street would also be closed to traffic.

This map below shows the potential changes.

Credit Courtesy / Reimagine The Alamo
Reimagine The Alamo
The a portion of the plan for the future of the Alamo's grounds

Traffic would still pass at the intersection of Alamo and Commerce according to maps provided.  

Across the street from the Alamo, three historic buildings that house attractions like Ripley’s Haunted Adventure would be replaced  with a museum and roof-top garden.  

Skarmeas also told the council the walls of the Alamo are being chipped away by the facility’s air conditioning system. “In simple terms, the building is deteriorating before our very eyes. So we need to think about it carefully, we need to engage the best experts in the world.”

The master planner said methods on how to prevent more decay of the walls need more studying. “We need to think of the ways of protecting this artifact not for the next 10 years but the next 300 years. Because it is essential to the city, it is essential to the site, it is essential to history.”

The Alamo Master Plan is about 60 percent complete and the redevelopment will cost up to $300 million. 

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules