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San Antonio

Bexar County Agrees To Provide $25 Million For Alamo Museum

 An artist rendering of the potential visitor center and museum at Alamo Plaza.
Gallagher & Associates
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An artist rendering of the potential visitor center and museum at Alamo Plaza.

Bexar County Commissioners on Tuesday approved the county's share of funding for a new Alamo Museum.

The county plans to spend $5 million each year for five years on the museum, which includes exhibits on the grounds, and across the from the famous façade of the Alamo.

The museum could be open in three to five years.

Community members urged commissioners to make sure the $450 million museum, also backed by the city and state, tells the ethnically diverse story of the more than 300-year old mission turned fortress, and not only the Battle of the Alamo.

Commissioner Tommy Calvert said a diverse story could be healing.

"We can all agree that we need a reset on the Alamo and Alamo Plaza and today we can mark our city as the epicenter of healing in the United States," he said.

The Alamo Museum will include interpretive sections on indigenous people, Spanish colonial times, Texas Independence and Revolution, and the battle.

 An artist rendering of the rooftop gallery and event space overlooking The Alamo.
Gallagher & Associates
An artist rendering of the rooftop gallery and event space overlooking The Alamo.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick appeared before commissioners online to offer his approval of the project and pledged to fight for hundreds of millions of state dollars to pour into the project.

He was opposed to a previous plan, which among other changes, would have moved the Cenotaph.

City, county and state officials all have said a visit to the Alamo needs to be a bigger experience for tourists and more educational. Commissioner Trish DeBerry said an Alamo visit needs to leave tourists with the same feelings experienced after departing other major museums, such as the 9-11 Memorial Museum in New York City or the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.

Patrick showed commissioners items from his Alamo collection, which included a cannon ball from the 1836 battle for Texas Independence from Mexico, and props from actor-director John Wayne's 1960 version of The Alamo movie.

The movie was filmed to the far west of San Antonio, near Bracketville, and included a replica Alamo, surrounded by other mocked-up town buildings. It has often been criticized during Alamo redevelopment planning for not telling a true or full story of the era.

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