Nirenberg, Bush Sign Controversial Alamo Agreement

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Mayor Ron Nirenberg (left) and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush sign a resolution in support the Alamo Master Plan.

Scott Ball / Rivard Report

Mayor Ron Nirenberg (left) and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush sign a resolution in support the Alamo Master Plan.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush on Tuesday jointly signed a resolution in support of an Alamo redevelopment plan that would move the Cenotaph, establish a “world-class” museum, manage access to the area, and close off city streets.

Elements of the plan now will go through two commission votes on Wednesday, Oct. 10, followed by a City Council vote slated for Thursday, Oct. 18. If approved, the City and State will continue to work together on implementation of the plan.

Key elements of the master plan, which were overwhelmingly approved by its Citizen Advisory Committee and Management Committee, includes 24-hour access to the historic plaza, moving the Alamo Cenotaph, entry points, street closures, new parade routes, restoring the Church and Long Barrack, and a “world-class” visitor center and museum in place of or inside of the three state-owned historic buildings directly west of the plaza.

The resolution signed on Tuesday also calls for the Cenotaph, a 1930s-era sculpture that honors Texan soldiers who defended the military outpost during the famous 1836 battle, to be moved to a prominent place of “reverence and learning.” Planners say that spot is 500 feet south in front of the Menger Hotel. The relocation has drawn protests from some descendants of those that fought in the 1836 Battle of the Alamo and activists.

“This process hasn’t been entered into lightly nor has it been rushed,” Nirenberg said, adding later that “this is a historic day. We have done what people have been trying to do for 150 years – which is we … breathe life back into [the Alamo] in a way that Texas, San Antonio, and the world over can be proud.”

Nirenberg declined to sign a resolution in mid-September after Bush tweeted out an image of his missing signature. Nirenberg said he didn’t want to rush the process and suggested that a Council vote could occur in November or December, after the contentious Nov. 6 election.

The two leaders are the sole members of the master plan’s Executive Committee – each had veto power over the mostly symbolic resolution that ultimately will be superseded by the lease and management agreement between the City and General Land Office (GLO). That agreement is nearing completion, Nirenberg said, noting the lease language would be made public soon. Click here to download the signed joint resolution.

“I’ve always been clear that the workflow will dictate the timeline,” he said, adding later that he needed further briefing and wanted to include additional details in the resolution. “The work is almost completed. And I feel very confident now that with the work session with Council on the 10th and the voting session with Council on the 18th we will have finality and move forward with the next steps of development of the plan.”

Mayor Ron Nirenberg (left) and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush sign a resolution to approve the Alamo Master Plan.

Scott Ball / Rivard Report

Mayor Ron Nirenberg (left) and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush sign a resolution to approve the Alamo Master Plan.

The Planning Commission will vote on the proposed South Alamo Street closure and its partial conveyance to the State in addition to the master lease agreement for the plaza. The Historic and Design Review Commission will vote on the general plan design and relocation of the Alamo Cenotaph – which is owned by the City.

Once the plan clears those and a City Council vote, the Alamo Endowment – the third partner in the redevelopment agreement – can start in earnest its critical fundraising efforts, Bush said. Previous estimates put the private investment needed in the $400 million-$500 million range.

After three long years of planning … over 200 stakeholder meetings throughout the City of San Antonio and the state of Texas, that this is truly a successful partnership,” Bush told reporters Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s time now for all Texans to come together regardless of our backgrounds. We’ve had our say and now it’s time to move forward with the master plan.”

8 thoughts on “Nirenberg, Bush Sign Controversial Alamo Agreement

  1. Considering the volume of changes made to the master plan due to “over 200” stakeholder meetings, they could have just as well held none.

    • What about it? It’ll be dismissed for lacking legal merit and it’ll be another tiny footnote in some future book about futile efforts.

  2. Two critical goals of the master plan are not met by this plan.

    “Enhance the continuum of history of the plaza…..”

    The west block of the plaza and the river link have their own history just as the plaza does which is distinctly different from the Alamo battle .
    This plan ignores the plaza as a civic heart of our city and does limit access

    “Enhance connectivity to the river , main plaza , and neighborhoods”

    There is no comprehensive traffic plan
    Only an auto trip delay impact plan.

    There is no plan to address the loss of
    Three lanes of traffic , transit , bike, pedestrian, and service access.

    Lasoya is already at a full stop ,,,

    More critically there is no plan which addresses micro mobility of bikes ,pedestrians ,scooters ,ride sharing …

    This plan does not connect our city better , it limits access to what will be a static tourist experience which ignores our citizens rights to wander through our historic city freely.

    Mayor , thank you for adding gates and barriers to our plaza.

  3. As usual Mr. Mayor (who knows what is best for us) does not bother to listen to us. He ignored the 7500 signatures gathered by the Conservation Society and other protests and did it his way. The street closure of Losoya will be a disaster! Limited access to the grounds around the Alamo and limits to peaceful protests on the grounds is against our rights as citizens of Texans.
    But he says it will make us a World Class City. What a crock!

  4. Finally logical progress is being made (in spite of the loudmouth bomb-throwers)…now just need to get the two Commissions to sign off. A majority favorable on council should be a no-brainer.

  5. What World-Class City cedes management of its principal historic and social and cultural center to a state agency? What an embarrassment. I thought the mayor was smarter, stronger, and more responsive to the citizens of his city; I thought he was good as his word and worth my vote. What a disappointment. We’ve had our say? Indeed, but who was listening? There were better plans proposed, and ignored, and we are left with a lame one that presents more problems than it solves. We needed people with respect for the history of this city … one would think during this year in particular there would be many … involved in the planning and the details. And we needed a World-Class mayor to listen and learn and make a better choice.

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