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Governance

The Alamo: The Heart of Texas

The Alamo is the Shrine of Texas liberty, and the most important historical site in the Lone Star State. The Battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836 is the key moment in Texas history, and one of the most pivotal battles in world history. The Texan identity of fighting for liberty, even against impossible odds and at the ultimate cost, begins at the Alamo.

Only two structures survive from the 1836 battle: the iconic Alamo Church and Long Barrack. We will preserve them to keep Texas history and Texas values alive.

Alamo Endowment member Red McCombs perhaps sums up the Alamo spirit best: “If you’re fighting for freedom, you’re doing the right thing in the right way.” The Texian and Tejano Defenders who made the ultimate sacrifice at the Alamo gave their lives for our freedom. We owe them a debt of gratitude and eternal honor. The next few years will be some of the most exciting in the Alamo’s history, as Texas comes together to ensure that the Alamo stands as a beacon of freedom now and into the future.

The Alamo’s Alarming Deterioration

Years of deferred maintenance and urban development up to and onto the Alamo’s 1836 Battlefield have left the Shrine of Texas Liberty ailing. The Alamo suffers from a host of issues including ground vibration from nearby traffic on Alamo Street that shakes its stones and mortar apart, and rising damp from the ground beneath it into the Alamo’s limestone. Halting and even reversing this deterioration must be done to ensure that the Alamo stands for centuries to come. In 2015, the General Land Office led nearly a dozen emergency maintenance projects including stabilizing the Alamo Church façade, remediating moisture in the gift shop, renovating the public restrooms, replacing HVAC systems, replacing the north door on the Long Barrack, and replacing rotted cedar beams in the arcade adjacent to the Alamo Church. Future work will include comprehensive physical, archaeological and technological studies to determine the Alamo’s needs and how to address them.

The Texas General Land Office

The people of Texas own the Alamo, and always will. The guardian of the Alamo is a statewide elected office, Texas Land Commissioner. The Land Commissioner heads the Texas General Land Office, which was established during the Republic of Texas and is the state’s oldest agency. In 2011, a united 82nd Texas Legislature and Gov. Rick Perry designated the Texas General Land Office (GLO) the custodian of the Alamo on behalf of the people of Texas. Since 2015, the GLO is engaged in preservation and restoration of the Alamo to ensure that the 300-year-old Shrine of Texas Liberty will stand for centuries to come. Upon inauguration in January 2015, Land Commissioner George P. Bush made preserving, protecting and championing the Alamo his highest priority.

Bringing 1836 to Life at the Alamo

Since 2015, the GLO and Alamo staff are working together to tell the Alamo’s story better. We have improved the Alamo Battlefield tours, launched a modern and responsive Alamo website, increased and improved on-site living history, launched the Alamo’s blog on Medium, are working with Texas A&M to refurbish seven battle cannon, and created new exhibits such as Bowie: Man – Knife – Legend and the upcoming Fortress Alamo. These projects serve to reinforce the Alamo’s unique 1836 story. Alamo attendance has increased since 2015, with 1.7 million visitors in 2017.

Texas Supports the Alamo

Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the Texas House and Senate and the people of Texas have committed to preserving and protecting the Alamo through the 84th and 85th Legislatures. The 84th Legislature allocated $31.5 million for the Alamo’s needs, including funds to support vital preservation and maintenance, the master plan, and vital technology updates on the Alamo Complex. The 85th Legislature allocated another $75 million for continuing necessary preservation and restoration.

The City of San Antonio

Texas’ second largest city, San Antonio grew up with the Alamo as its heart. The Alamo Complex is owned by the state through GLO, while Alamo Street and Alamo Plaza – the 1836 Battlefield – are owned by the city. The 84th Texas Legislature passed HB 2968, under which the GLO and San Antonio entered into a memorandum of understanding to work cooperatively for the betterment of the Alamo. In April 2015, the GLO and the City of San Antonio signed a cooperative agreement to ensure a bright future for the Alamo. This cooperative agreement teams the state with the Alamo City in unprecedented partnership as we create a master plan to preserve and protect the Alamo, and build the museum that the Alamo has always deserved but does not have – to keep 1836 alive every day and restore reverence to the Battlefield.

The Master Plan to Reinforce the Alamo

The master plan is both the deepest, most detailed historical study of the Alamo site that has ever been done, and a set of key concepts that will guide the preservation and restoration plan over the next few years. The master plan calls for:

  • Preserving and protecting the Alamo Church and Long Barrack.
  • Restoring reverence by closing the street and reunifying the 1836 Battlefield (currently owned by the city of San Antonio) with the Alamo and removing operations that are not consistent with honoring the Defenders.
  • Building the world’s largest museum dedicated to the Battle of the Alamo and the Texas Revolution.

The Alamo Endowment

HB 3726, passed by the 82nd Legislature, placed the Alamo under the stewardship of the General Land Office. That law also expressly provides the authority to partner with or create nonprofit organizations to assist the GLO in managing the Alamo. First established in 2012, the Alamo Endowment is a nonprofit which will spearhead the creation of an endowment, or capital fund, for the Alamo. This endowment will enable the Alamo to operate as self-sufficiently as possible. The Alamo Endowment is a private, nonprofit Texas corporation organized for charitable and educational purposes. It assists the General Land Office in the preservation, management, education, maintenance, operation and restoration of the Alamo Complex. The San Jacinto Battle Monument and Museum, owned by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, has used a similar nonprofit structure to fundraise and manage daily operations in its museum. The Alamo Endowment has not received and does not spend state taxpayer funds.

The Alamo Trust

Originally called Alamo Complex Management, the Alamo Trust is a private, nonprofit Texas corporation. It manages day-to-day operations and staff at the Alamo and uses revenues generated on the Alamo Complex to fund itself. All of its income and expenses are tracked, reported and audited through the Texas General Land Office.

Remember the Alamo Foundation

The Shrine of Texas Liberty deserves the very best. Remember the Alamo Foundation (RTAF) is a private, nonprofit Texas corporation organized for charitable and educational purposes. It will engage all Texans and all who love liberty as we enter an exciting phase in Alamo history: fundraising to build the world’s largest museum dedicated to the Battle of the Alamo and the Texas Revolution. This museum will protect, preserve and display the spectacular Phil Collins Collection, the Alamo Collection, and other priceless artifacts – amazing pieces of Texas history that the Alamo currently does not have the capacity to display. RTAF has not received and does not spend state taxpayer funds.

Coming Soon: The Alamo Museum

Despite its status as one of the most iconic sites in the world, the Alamo does not have a museum dedicated to telling its story. In a few years, it will.

In December 2015, the GLO achieved a major milestone toward building this museum. GLO purchased the Crockett, Woolworth and Palace buildings directly across the Battlefield from the Alamo. Purchase of these historic buildings adjacent to the 1836 Battlefield enables Texans to envision and build the world’s largest Alamo and Texas Revolution museum – the museum the Alamo deserves.

Lease Documents

Resolutions

Transparency

Commissioner Bush has committed the General Land Office and the Alamo to go above and beyond requirements to ensure that Texans know what government is doing and why. While the Alamo Endowment is a private organization, Commissioner Bush’s commitment to transparency extends to it.

Following are meeting minutes and audited financial statements from Alamo Endowment, Alamo Trust, and Remember The Alamo Foundation:

 


Auditing the Alamo’s Finances for Accountability
Land Commissioner George P. Bush initiated the first comprehensive proactive audit of the Alamo’s accounting and financial management. This thorough audit was the first of its kind in Alamo history, and was aimed at modernizing and reinforcing oversight and accountability.

Download The Report on the Audit of the Alamo Accounting Processes (.pdf)


 PGAV Destinations The Alamo Brand Perception Research


The Alamo Endowment is a 501(c)(3), and reports its finances to GuideStar, the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations.

View and download GuideStar's report on the Alamo Endownment's finances.

Every contract relating to the master plan process is held with the GLO. The GLO posts all contracts on its website.