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San Antonio City Council to Vote on Alamo Plaza Redevelopment

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On Wednesday, October 10, the San Antonio Planning Commission approved the closure of streets in the Alamo Plaza together with an agreement to lease the property to the State of Texas. It was all part of plans for a redevelopment of the area. The plan, which is estimated to cost $450 million, received conceptual approval by the Historic and Design Review Commission, in conjunction with final approval for the relocation of the 1930s Cenotaph. The city council has yet to vote on the project, which was initially proposed in 2014, and may do so as early as October 18.

The redevelopment of Alamo Plaza was proposed by the city of San Antonio in partnership with the non-profit Alamo Endowment and the Texas General Land Office. Following the recent approval of the plan by the two separate city commissions noted above, a number of councilors have raised objections and questions. Among them, the moving of the cenotaph (a bone of contention), public access, and street closures are points of concern.

San Antonio City Council to Vote on Alamo Plaza Redevelopment

Photo: Facebook/Save the Alamo

As reported in June of this year, the redevelopment plan also proposes the construction of a new museum and the razing of a number of buildings that were part of this Hill Country city’s downtown landscape for decades. This would see the Plaza triple in size. It also asks for extensive landscaping work, to lower the site in some spots to its original 1836 level. Residents were provided their opportunities for feedback at community sessions in the late spring, at which those in attendance were vocal about their scrutiny of the plan. The current opposition by some city council members continues to mirror those sentiments, citing proposed controlled public access as being arbitrary to the original intent of the project – being that of “reverence and respect” and having a much larger place in which to tell the Alamo’s history.