Toast the Historical Assessment of the experts or mistrust the Alamo Trust?

alamo plaza buildings historical assessment

Above from left to right: The Crockett Block (1882); the Palace Theater (1923); and the Woolworth Building (1921) on the west side of the plaza facing the Alamo

Been dreading the arrival of the Historical Assessment of a trio of historic buildings on the west side of Alamo Plaza conducted by John G. Waite Associates for the Alamo Trust. My trust eroded by a dearth of information emanating from the Alamo during the past several years, I assumed the instructions given the architectural firm might have been skewed to doom them to the wrecking ball. But I must have been wrong.

The conclusions reached by the study are a dream come true for preservationists and proponents of adaptive reuse. The landmarks are viewed as prime for transformation into a visitor center and museum for the Alamo.

Continue reading “Toast the Historical Assessment of the experts or mistrust the Alamo Trust?”

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Six

steves homestead

Above, Johanna Steves rocks in front of her home on King William Street. The Steves Homestead is now a House Museum owned by The Conservation Society of San Antonio and is well worth touring.

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Five

Emma Bentzen Koehler, May 1911

Sophie Wahrmund clasps her hands together over her heart. “After Papa’s funeral, I couldn’t bring myself to think of leaving all the family in Fredericksburg. I started weeping the minute they started playing ‘Oh Fair, Oh Sweet, Oh Holy!’ and didn’t stop dabbing at my eyes until we pulled up to the front door. Yet here I am, thoroughly wrapped up in this wedding. How can one so rapidly leap from the depths of despair to a state of bliss? My tears of mourning have been replaced by those of joy.”

“Nothing helps heal loss like births or weddings, Sophie.”

The fireflies are beginning to flicker as servants wander through the yard lighting candles at all the tables. Over Sophie’s shoulder, Emma catches a glimpse of her husband on the dance floor. She smiles. Otto’s partner is none other than the groom’s grandmother, Johanna Steves. While Otto does do a turn or two or more with some of the prettiest women in town, he always takes care to alternate them with the oldest widows available at any social occasion. “And your Jennie just looks positively radiant in that green.”

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Six”

When it seems way too quiet on the western front

crockett block palace theatre

The western front of Alamo Plaza. Is no news good news, or just a well-guarded secret?

It has been almost two years since the Alamo issued its request for qualifications to hire a firm to conduct an historical assessment of the significance of the Crockett Block (above, a personal favorite), the Palace Theatre and the Woolworth Building on Alamo Plaza. The RFQ included an evaluation of their appropriateness for reuse as a visitor center and museum for the Alamo.

The historical assessment is easy. These structures are well-documented as part of an historic district included in the National Register of Historic Places.

As for their reuse? That might depend on how the issue is approached. The illustration used on the Alamo website only highlights obstacles.

Click here to see illustrations and read this alamobsessive post