San Antonio’s Historic Design and Review Commission and the Planning Commission approved changes to Alamo Plaza last Wednesday night.
Commissioners for the Planning Commission passed the lease agreements for the Alamo Plaza and street closures 6-1 with one abstention. HDRC passed the conceptual approval of the Alamo Master Plan and moving of the Cenotaph Monument 8-1. Commissioners on both panels are appointed by the San Antonio City Council.
The changes are part of an overhaul of the grounds listed in the Alamo Master Plan that could reach over $340 million. The plan has already been approved by San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush. The next step in solidifying the Alamo Master Plan is City Council approval Thursday.
At a work session earlier in the day, council members were divided about the plans.
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said to preserve the Alamo, the updates need to be done with “care, caution, and respect.”
“In order for us to sanctify the space, to recognize the history of the battle, to honor the defenders, to recognize and honor the history that occurred over the last 300 years on the site, there are changes that need to be made,” Nirenberg said.
Council members Perry, Courage, and Gonzales did not immediately support the plan for various reasons. District 9 Councilman John Courage said he disagrees with moving the Cenotaph, which depicts the fallen defenders of the Alamo and specific access points into the plaza.
“I can appreciate making the Alamo Plaza a pedestrian plaza, although I’ll miss the parades marching in front of the chapel, but I don’t appreciate limiting our citizen’s access to it,” Courage said. “I feel that’s a big problem.”