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Texas Matters: The Alamo Battles Decay

Chris Eudaily
TPR News

The iconic west facade of the Alamo is slowly wearing down, according to a study conducted by the Center for Heritage Conservation at Texas A&M University.

The Shrine to Texas liberty located in downtown San Antonio is suffering a loss of 5 to 7 centimeters, or approximately 2 – 2.7 inches, of its limestone surface since 1960.

That erosion has been detected at the base of a decorative column flanking the Alamo’s main entrance.

The concern is that the rate of decay could increase and add up to a significant amount over time.

Robert Warden is the director of the Center for Heritage Conservation (CHC) at Texas A&M University.

To determine the extent of the column base’s material loss, Warden created two virtual 3-D models of the west facade’s entrance — one, from a 1960 Historic American Buildings Survey, and another with current data gathered by the CHC’s digital laser scanning and recording equipment.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi