Texas says 'Renovate the Alamo' - the plaza and the building
By Jim Forsyth
SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - Texas laid out a plans on Wednesday for a facelift of its most-visited tourist site, the Alamo, that includes a major overhaul of the plaza surrounding it and a more delicate renovation of the iconic building.
Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, whose office controls the San Antonio site considered by many as a shrine to Texas independence, said the state legislature has allocated $32 million to begin the process and expects private donations to pour in for the renovation.
"The time has come to create a future for the Alamo which is as proud and as purposeful as its past," Bush, the son of Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, told a news conference.
Texas State Representative Diego Bernal, a former member of the San Antonio city council whose district contains the Alamo, said he is tired of hearing visitors being "underwhelmed."
The building and plaza are on a busy street in downtown San Antonio, surrounded by city traffic, hotels, and tourist shops.
"After years and years of that we decided we can do better, and give this place the kind of reverence which is its due," he said.
The plans for the Alamo, which include repairing the famous facade of the 250 year-old building, call for building a major museum to house hundreds of artifacts from the 1836 battle between Texan and Mexican forces.
The Alamo's vastly outnumbered defenders were routed by Mexican forces in a 13-day siege but the battle became a rallying point for the Texas forces, who defeated the Mexican Army a few weeks later. Continued...