I don’t know if you have ever gotten a chance to visit the historic Alamo, where 200 Texan defenders held off a siege from thousands of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, but despite its historic importance the fort has definitely seen better days.
That is why members of the Texas General Land Office, the City of San Antonio and the Alamo Endowment are hoping to restore “dignity” to the fort with a large renovation to the historic site. Some plans include:
building large, light up, translucent glass walls to represent the original south boundary wall of the mission.
Removing cement, pavement, and the sidewalks from Alamo Street to make way for native plants, shrubs, trees, and dirt.
Repurposing the buildings facing the Alamo (Ripley’s Believe-it-or-Not!, the Guinness World Records Museum, and Tomb Raider 3D) for an Alamo history museum.
So why not spruce up the seriously aging fort?
Well, for one thing it is not going to be cheap. The end result of the entire project would cost upwards of $450 million. The city has already committed $17 million to the project, and has another $21 million towards pending bonds, but they’re currently asking for another $75 million.
That is a lot of money to spend on renovation. It may not be as bad as computers designed to binge-watch ‘Desperate Housewives’ or other programs on Sen. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.) Wastebook: PORKemon Go, but it’s still a lot to ask from a city with nearly 15 percent of the population below the poverty line.
The plan also calls for getting rid of the First Amendment Zone in front of the Alamo, which means no more peaceful protests in the area.
The Alamo may be a historical site, but it’s also a symbol for both the city of San Antonio, and the men who gave their lives because they weren’t allowed to be heard. Is it truly honoring their sacrifice by voiding someone’s right to speak up against those in charge?
But protests are not the only things affected. Parades, vendors, festivals, and other fun activities will no longer be allowed in the bustling city center to make way for a more ‘dignified’ site.
It is understandable to want to make a historic site look more dignified, but it is important to recognize the Alamo is a part of San Antonio. Should the city really pay millions, and sacrifice its citizen’s ability to protest, for glass walls separating the Alamo from the rest of the city?
Sounds like just another Texas-sized waste of taxpayer dollars.
Photo Credit: Creative Commons