Did everyone see the news about the new study that will begin next week July 5th in Alamo plaza? The group that has been hired to help transform Alamo plaza as much as possible to something better served in representing the history of the Alamo will be conducting a survey for the next three weeks. I'm confused by what they hope to accomplish because they claim that no one knows exactly where the south and west walls were, the aqueias etc. They also claim that all the gathered research shows very little real knowledge of the Alamo. While I do applaud any effort to learn more about the Alamo I don't understand why they don't speak to some of the local Alamo aficionados as well. Some of you guys have done some tremendous research on the Alamo that if you multiplied it into college creds you'd all have Doctorates in Alamo studies.
Post by Rich Curilla on Jun 30, 2016 18:09:15 GMT -5
We have no official credentials. Besides, no two Alamologists can agree on any detail. However, I do believe there will somehow be an opportunity once they have a foundation.
Here is Scott Huddleston's article:
Careful study, digs to shape Alamo plan
By Scott Huddleston June 29, 2016 Updated: June 29, 2016 6:51pm
The lead expert in development of a long-term Alamo master plan called the mission and battle site one of the most complex historic locales in the world, one that will require years of study and fundraising to implement a first-rate overhaul.
George Skarmeas, design director with Preservation Design Partnership of Philadelphia, said a careful, ponderous examination of the Alamo area, through documentation and archaeological work, will guide a project that could have construction starting in 2021 and a “soft opening” in 2024.
“We need to understand what is under our feet,” Skarmeas told City Council members Wednesday, describing the area as “a place where two continents came together.”
A “dream team” of experts will begin a “systematic archaeological study” of the area next week to pinpoint the location of exterior portions of the 1836 battle compound, as well as acequias — carefully engineered, river-fed water canals — that had served the compound since its 1700s mission era.
The archaeological work, to begin Tuesday, will help identify original structural limits of the compound defended during a 13-day siege for Texas independence, and how the site’s landscape has changed over time, with portions buried under possibly several feet of dirt over the years as San Antonio has grown around it. Ground-penetrating radar and digs “in targeted locations” will be used, Skarmeas said.
“This is one of the most complicated sites in the world. And in that complication lies all kinds of opportunities,” said Gene Powell, a board member of the nonprofit Alamo Endowment, which is working with the city and Texas General Land Office to develop the master plan, set for completion and adoption in about a year.
A new website, ReimagineTheAlamo.org, has been launched to provide updates on the plan. Archaeologists will provide daily morning briefings for Alamo visitors on their work, which will result in periodic lane closures on Alamo and Houston streets adjacent to Alamo Plaza. Those briefings will be posted online through social media, Powell said.
Along with Philadelphia-based PDP, the local firm of Fisher Heck Architects and Grupo de Diseño Urbano of Mexico City also are working to expand the Alamo experience beyond the state-owned 4.2-acre complex.
The plan is likely to include a vision for a modern visitor center, and recommendations on public art, pedestrian access and other area upgrades to reduce noise and improve the reverence and historical authenticity.
Skarmeas said it also needs to establish an entry point for visitors and proper flow of pedestrian movement. The Alamo’s mission church is one of the world’s most sacred structures, “and I have to cross three lanes of traffic to get there” from the San Antonio River to the west, he said.
The design team will have to perform “open heart surgery” to reveal layers of history, Skarmeas said, from the daily life of indigenous mission inhabitants and the storied 1836 siege and battle to use as a U.S. Army depot and commercial development around the city-owned plaza.
“The site will give us the right answers,” Skarmeas said.
In the end, once improvements are in place, visitors “will leave better people, having learned something very meaningful,” he added.
Aside from about $42 million already committed by the city and state for Alamo improvements, the endowment has said it may privately try to raise hundreds of millions more for projects identified in the plan.
The first installment in a series of “public engagement sessions” is set for 6 p.m. Aug. 2, at a location to be announced, the endowment said in a release.
Skarmeas’ presentation was followed by applause during the council work session — a rare reaction, Mayor Ivy Taylor noted.
“We know we’re at the beginning of a long and exciting journey,” said Taylor, who serves with Land Commissioner George P. Bush on an executive committee in the master plan process.
Post by Rich Curilla on Jul 5, 2016 14:09:33 GMT -5
Perhaps, with it being a professional organization and not a highly bureaucratic university project with only one specific goal in one specific location -- and they are basically after Alamo footprint information -- it simplifies where and what they are doing. I dunno. Still seems short to me.
Post by Rich Curilla on Aug 1, 2016 10:50:38 GMT -5
For anybody who is interested, here is a link to the Reimagining the Alamo Facebook page, where they are providing daily streamed interviews at 10:30 A.M. about the progress of the archaeological digs on Alamo Plaza. Dr. Nesta Anderson is the senior archaeologist. Today she has presented some of the artifacts they have unearthed at the southwest corner of the compound. Here is the link: www.facebook.com/ReimagineTheAlamo