Repairing and Restoring the Cenotaph.
The Alamo Plan calls for relocating the Cenotaph to provide a better understanding of what the Plaza was like in 1836, focusing on the Texas revolution leading up to the famous siege and battle. The Plan also calls for substantial repairs to the deteriorating structure, ensuring the monument remains a beacon of remembrance and continues to stand strong for the next 100 years. To ensure the integrity of the structure, the Cenotaph will be moved to a stronger foundation and fully repaired.
The Alamo Plan seeks to recover the 1836 battlefield that tells the story of the Alamo’s historical significance, but leaving the 20th century Cenotaph within an 1836 period context will compromise this goal. Because the Cenotaph currently sits in the middle of the Alamo battlefield, moving the structure will allow for larger battle reenactments and living history education programs to be carried out in Alamo Plaza. The current location also blocks views of the Long Barrack and Church from locations in the west and northwest, including from the planned visitor center and museum. Moving the Cenotaph will provide visitors with a clear view across the plaza, similar to the view the Defenders once had.
The Cenotaph will be moved about 500 feet, to the plaza area between the Menger Hotel and former Joske’s storefront, now incorporated into the Rivercenter Mall. This is the current location of the band stand. This move places the Cenotaph at the relative center of the renewed Alamo plaza, and will ensure its prominence as a monument and focal point that honors the Defenders who gallantly gave their lives for freedom.
The move also brings the monument closer to the location where the Mexican dictator Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna ordered the burning of the bodies of the Defenders in funeral pyers- believed to have been constructed and burned along the Alameda, currently called Commerce Street, which runs southeast of the Alamogrounds taking travelers outside of San Antonio.
The image to the right is a replica of Greene B. Jemison’s 1836 Alamo plat.
Greene Jemison is one of the heroes who fell at the Alamo on the morning of March 6, 1836.
On that morning, according to William Barret Travis’ slave Joe, the first Defenders to die were the picket guards posted outside the fort – one of whom was most likely near the southern lunette (in the area of the red dot).
The proposed Cenotaph site is near where one of the first Defenders fell in advance of Santa Anna’s assault.