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

Postcard from Madrid, Spain: Trying to absorb the history of man in a day

In 1867, Queen Isabella II (1830-1904) founded the Museo Arqueologico Nacional (MAN), partially in recognition of the need to protect Spain’s historical artifacts from political turmoil. The preservation of the cultural heritage of the country proved easier than the protection of her own rule. A revolt pushed the queen into exile in France the following year, and she wound up abdicating the throne in favor of one of her sons.

MAN traces the history of man in Spain from his earliest known origins and also includes extensive displays of ancient archaeological treasures from Egypt, the Near East and Greece.

The featured image is known as the Lady of Elche, dating from the 5th or 4th century B.C. The “lady” was found in Elche, located on the Mediterranean coast of Spain and continually impacted by waves of invaders from Greece, Carthage, Rome and the land of the Moors.

The main structure housing MAN dates from the 19th century, but the museum was closed for five years beginning in 2008 to dramatically modernize the space displaying more than 15,000 items.

Yes, it is totally overwhelming. Not realizing the immensity of the collection, we squandered time in the prehistoric section of relatively little interest to us and felt rushed in viewing the rest, all of it masterfully displayed.