- The longtime tourist attraction tenants across from the Alamo may have to vacate, now that the Texas General Land Office is under contract to purchase 3 buildings for a potential Alamo museum.
The Texas General Land Office plans to buy three buildings directly across from the Alamo. The purchase advances plans for a potential renovation of Alamo Plaza and opening of a museum and visitors center for the famous San Antonio landmark.
The agency, which took over custodianship for The Alamo earlier this year, is under contract to purchase the Woolworth, Palace and Crockett buildings, which are currently leased by tourist shops and attractions including Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, Guinness World Records, 3D Tomb Raider, Del Sol and Grand Trolley Tours, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
The buildings' longtime tenants have attracted the ire of preservationists who claim the tourist attractions are an blight on what is considered sacred battleground in the annals of Texas history. All three buildings fall within the original footprint of the famed Spanish colonial mission.
Plans to renovate Alamo Plaza to a more reverent state have been proposed over the years, but the project has gained momentum after British musician Phil Collins donated over 200 items of Alamo and Texas Revolution artifacts and memorabilia to the state of Texas, including the legendary Bowie knife, a rifle once owned by Davy Crocket and hundreds of historical documents.
When the donation was announced last June, then-Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson immediately announced the agency's intentions to house the multi-million dollar collection in a new museum dedicated to the Shrine of Texas liberty. Plans for the Alamo Plaza renovation gained further momentum after this summer's World Heritage Site designation for The Alamo and the San Antonio Missions National Park.
Davis Phillips, president and CEO of Phillips Entertainment, which franchises Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, Tomb Rider and Guinness World Records, told the Express-News that he was not informed by the GLO of its plans to purchase the building his company presently leases but he was aware of the agency's intentions. The GLO has stated it will not alter current lease agreements with the buildings' current tenants.