The digs are a critical first step in the transformation of the historical site to help the Lone Star State tell more of the story of the battle for independence beyond the Battle of 1836.
As reported by W. Scott Bailey of the San Antonio Business Journal, there are two active dig sites roughly 25 yards west of the Alamo. Work at one of those sites, immediately west of Alamo Plaza Street, is nearing completion, while the other, closest to the Alamo, is more active.
The Alamo complex is operated by the Texas General Land Office, and, in August, Land Commissioner George P. Bush went to the dig sites to evaluate the progress.
“This is the most visited site in the entire state of Texas,” Bush said. “When I visit with folks throughout the state, the country and the world, they tell me that we need to do a better job. So this is one step, an important step, in a long process.”
During the 2015 Texas legislative session—Bush’s first as Land Commissioner—his efforts surrounding the Alamo centered around directing resources toward the immediate structural integrity needs on the grounds of the historic mission complex. As the end of the year approaches, and the 2017 session is on the horizon, Bush and San Antonio civic leaders have stressed that the state must make the most out of this opportunity to rethink the meaning and layout of the site.
“The rest of the world is watching, so we’ve got to make sure we do this right,” Bush said.
The project emerged from a partnership between the General Land Office, the City of San Antonio and the Alamo Endowment, and is known as “Reimagine the Alamo.”
According to the project website, the purpose is to reimagine the Alamo by creating an interpretation of the site that honors the true footprint, history and significance of the Alamo over its nearly 300-year history, first as a Spanish mission and later as the Cradle of Texas History. The site explains that there has never been a systematic archaeology study of the entire Alamo site to determine, with as much certainty as possible, the location of the walls and other structures. In order to develop a plan with integrity, based on evidence going back to 1724, the master planners agreed that such a study was necessary. The archaeology work, as well as a complete timeline of the history of the site, will inform the decisions made as to where buildings such as a new visitor center and museum are built and the content of educational programming.
To learn more about the project, visit http://reimaginethealamo.org/.