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Texas Historical Commission Approves Alamo Expansion

 The Alamo's new Exhibition Hall is part of its recently approved expansion. Officials say the move expands space to exhibit documents and objects in the Alamo’s comprehensive collection by 500%.
Gensler GRG
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Courtesy Alamo Trust, Inc.

The Texas Historical Commission this week approved the Alamo's new Exhibition Hall and Collections Building.

Alamo officials say the move expands space to exhibit documents and objects in the Alamo’s comprehensive collection by 500%.

The Alamo will break ground on the new 24,000-square-foot building on Aug. 17, 2021.

The Alamo Plan encompasses both restoration of historic buildings and new construction projects, all with the goals of fostering reverence and dignity at an important site in Texas history. The plan aims to memorialize those who fought at the Alamo and to share the stories of more than 300 years of Alamo history with an enhanced visitor experience that is both moving and informative, according to a news release.

“We are pleased to see our plans for the Alamo being realized,” said Hope Andrade, Chair of the Alamo Management Committee. “The Alamo is sacred ground and many around our community and state have a deeply personal connection to this space. It is time that we honor and preserve this history, and make it a great educational resource for generations to come.”

The Alamo Plan includes:

  • Restoring the 1836 Battlefield footprint, including the closure of streets to further define the battle ground. The portion of Alamo Street that runs in front of the church today is now closed to vehicular traffic, allowing visitors to explore the historic footprint of the mission more freely.
  • Preserving the 300-year-old church and long barrack, the only remaining structures from the 1836 battle.
  • Construction of the new Exhibition Hall and Collections Building. Completion is scheduled for 2022.
  • Construction of the new Visitor Center and Museum, repurposing the historic Crockett Block and Woolworth buildings on the west side of the Alamo Plaza to provide 40,000 square feet of gallery space for the Alamo’s original documents and artifacts.
  • Creating new programming that expands upon the stories that preceded and precipitated the battle and its enduring impact on the development of Texas and the United States.
  • Renovating Alamo Hall and transforming it into an education center.

“The Alamo is the most important landmark in Texas and is known around the world. We must preserve this history and share the stories of those who lived, fought and died at the Alamo,” said Alamo Trust, Inc. Executive Director Kate Rogers. “We are confident that we have the right plan in place to create the world-class visitor experience that this sacred space deserves.”

Among the many Alamo artifacts to be housed in the new building is the Phil Collins Collection.

Even before the building is completed, additional items from the collection can be seen for the first time by the general public during audio tours on Aug. 18.

The Alamo's Director of Archaeology, Collections, and Historical Research, Kristi Miller Nichols, stands by the historical value of the British musician's collection.

"The majority of the Phil Collins Collection is undeniably, undisputedly authentic and it helps to tell us the story or helps us enrich the story of the Texas Revolution, both the Texas side and the Mexican side," she said.

Nichols said all items in the Phil Collins Collection and in the entire Alamo, for that matter, are the subject of ongoing provenance research.

For more details on the Alamo Plan, visit the Alamo.org.

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