Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report
The Alamo Management Committee received more than 30 applications from architectural firms interested in undertaking the historic task of designing a Smithsonian-caliber museum as part of Alamo Plaza’s multimillion dollar redevelopment, according to officials.
The committee issued two requests for qualifications (RFQs): one for the architectural design and another for the architect of record for the 130,000-square-foot structure slated to become the new home for musician Phil Collins’ collection of rare Alamo artifacts and other historical objects.
“The response to these RFQs has been tremendous and even more than we expected,” Alamo CEO Douglass McDonald stated in a news release Tuesday. “This goes to show that the world knows the Alamo story, and the best architects in Texas and throughout the world want to be a part of this special Alamo Plan Project.”
Thirty-six firms expressed interest in leading the design work and five submitted to be architect of record. Represented on the list are a host of internationally recognized firms from San Antonio, Texas, and around the world.
For the firm or group selected, their work will be directly informed by a report about the structural and historic value of the three buildings across from Alamo Plaza, McDonald told the Rivard Report on Monday. A request for qualifications was issued for that report on Monday.
A key piece of the Alamo Master Plan is figuring out what to do with the buildings, which were purchased by the state to become part of – or make way for – the museum. Many conservation advocates are against demolishing any of them.
The Alamo Management Committee expects to interview firms that make it onto a shortlist in early October and award the contract in mid-October, “after the City and State have made an agreement on street closures” associated with the the plan, according to the release. The six-member committee comprises two members each from the City of San Antonio, Texas General Land Office, and Alamo Endowment.
The role of the architect of record is to submit the building application, project drawings, and building specifications on behalf of the design architect. Typically this position is a local firm, but it could be anyone licensed in the state of Texas. Local firm Ford, Powell & Carson threw its hat into the ring for that position. It was recently awarded part of a contract to repair and preserve the Alamo church and Long Barrack.
Meanwhile, a controversial plan to close streets adjacent to the plaza, move the Alamo Cenotaph, and control access to the plaza with gates and railings is making its way through the approval process. The Alamo Citizen Advisory Committee will vote on the plan Thursday during a meeting that starts at 6 p.m. in City Council chambers. From there, it will go to the Management Committee, which will make a recommendation to the Executive Committee – made up of Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Land Commissioner George P. Bush. Each have veto power over the plan, but it also needs approval from City Council.