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Contentious Alamo Master Plan Could Be Approved Thursday

On Thursday, the San Antonio City Council decides whether to give conceptual approval to the Alamo Master Plan, which sparked weeks of passionate debate over the historic site's future.

The proposal, years in the making, has been up for review by citizens since its official revealed in April. At public meetings throughout the month and in print, planners behind the redesign continue to confront challenges, concerns and criticisms of the plan.

Major concerns include glass panels outlining the north and south walls, and southern main gate of the courtyard. The glass is low-maintenance and graffiti-proof, according to planners who are standing strong in defense of the design. Critics are adamantly opposed, saying the panels do not reflect the site's historic aesthetic and that their addition would be a barrier, closing off the space instead of keeping it open as a public space.

Designers have already added shaded areas to the plan in response to public outcry about the plan to remove mature shade trees from the plaza.

Other important changes proposed by the plan will affect restoration of the 250-year-old church, relocation of the revered Alamo Cenotaph, and partial street closures downtown - a point of contention for area businesses. 

San Antonio voters approved Propositions 1 and 3 of the city's bond package last weekend, bringing the city's total financial commitment to the Alamo to $38 million.

What are the next steps for the seven-year project? How will these changes affect the legacy of the Alamo? 

Guests: 

Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.
Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.