August 10, 2017
The Facts about the “Reimagine the Alamo Master Plan” Texas State General Land Office Commissioner George P. Bush has contracted with a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based company to develop a new image for the Alamo. This new plan titled “Reimagine The Alamo” has the full support of Commissioner Bush even to the point of him asking the Texas legislators to appropriate $175,000,000 for the new Alamo image. $100,000,000 has been appropriated to start implementing this plan. By their own admission, this plan will greatly diminish the significance of the world-famous 1836 Alamo Battle. This “Master Plan” will incorporate the following changes
This plan has the full support and approval of Texas GLO Commissioner George P. Bush. FACT! The Texas General Land Office took over management of the Alamo from the Daughters of the Republic of Texas in 2015. FACT! The General Land Office did not disclose their plans to transform the Alamo and Alamo Plaza into a glass-enclosed 21st century theme park until after seizing control. FACT! Commissioner Bush should be asked to explain why he fully endorses the Reimagine the Alamo Plan, and why a Pennsylvania-based company, instead of a Texas-based company, was selected to develop the Reimagine the Alamo Master Plan. The above FACTS were presented by Dr. George C. Skarmeas at an April 10, 2017 public hearing in San Antonio, Texas, reported by the San Antonio Express News April 11, 2017, and approved by the San Antonio City Council May 11, 2017. FACT!
John L. Hinnant
San Antonio, Texas
As Texans we are blessed by God with many treasures.
There is the land—more than 268 million square miles of it—a land rich with natural resources, abundant, life-giving waters and a wonderful diversity of wildlife. Protecting these resources for present and future generations of Texans is something that the Texas General Land Office Commissioner must regard as a sacred trust.
Equally important is the heritage of freedom with which we are blessed. Freedom won by the blood of heroes whose names still inspire us today—Travis, Crockett, Bowie, Houston, Seguin, Zavala and so many more .
The battlefields on which those Texans fought are also a sacred trust—a trust we hold not only for Texans but for all Americans. Gonzales, Goliad, and San Jacinto are as dear to freedom-loving Americans as Lexington, Saratoga, and Yorktown. And the crown jewel of our heritage of freedom is the Alamo.
Today our heritage is threatened like never before. For decades political extremists who despise Texas and all the good things Texas stands for have waged a relentless campaign of lies and vilification against men and women who risked all, and in many cases, sacrificed all so that we can live in freedom today. These far-left fanatics demand that the cultural symbols of our heritage—the flags for which brave Texans fought and died be banned, their statues and monuments be destroyed, and the very names of Texas heroes be stricken from schools, highways, parks—you name it.
Perhaps the saddest part of all is that those officials who are responsible for defending and preserving our heritage are caving in to political correctness, a polite term for the undisguised hatred of our heritage and our heritage shrines—the Alamo in particular. They want to "reimagine the Alamo." In effect they want to change the subject, to take the focus off the 1836 fight for Texas Independence, trivialize its importance, and, they hope, somehow, appease the far-left fanatics who only grow bolder when their outrageous demands are met.
This situation is specifically demonstrated by Land Commissioner George P. Bush’s misguided and incompetent stewardship of the Alamo.
Many of you are not aware of this, but current Land Commissioner Bush is foisting upon the public a plan entitled “REIMAGINE THE ALAMO” which, if enacted, will destroy the Alamo as we know it.
For one thing, the plan intends to greatly diminish the role played by the Battle itself. In the words of Bush’s Master Planner, George Skarmeas, “We cannot single out one moment in time.”
The iconic memorial to the Defenders, the Cenotaph, has stood in the middle of Alamo Plaza since Texas’s Centennial in 1936. This memorial is engraved with the names of the actual Defenders. To further their efforts to downplay the Battle, the planners (all non-Texans by the way) intend to remove the Cenotaph to a site secluded by new condominiums located several blocks away and completely off of the Alamo property.
In addition, the plan will rebuild the original plaza walls that surrounded the fort using modern-day see-through German structural glass rather than the original limestone. Instead of a hallowed battleground, the effect will be that of a Disney-style theme park. These are just a few of the major flaws contained in this scheme. There are many others.
But these are not the only troubling issues with Bush’s plan. In support of this effort, the Texas Legislature just in the last two sessions has appropriated over $100 million for its implementation. The planners project that it will end up costing an additional $350 million.
Most concerning, every penny of the money appropriated thus far, as well as its expenditure, has been totally hidden from public view by the use of nonprofit 501c3 accounts. Freedom of Information Act requests for an accounting of the money have been stonewalled to the point that it has become necessary to file appeals to the Office of the State Attorney General.
This is not open and accountable government. The Texas General Land Office, and especially the Alamo, deserve much better. Texas needs a Land Commissioner who is not ashamed of the Alamo or the heritage of freedom it represents. It needs a Land Commissioner who will treat the Alamo with the respect and dignity it deserves. It needs a Land Commissioner who will be transparent, accountable, and responsible with taxpayers’ money. It needs a Land Commissioner who will institute a plan that properly restores the Alamo while honoring its true significance and at an exponentially lower cost.
This time, Texans must not stand complacently by and allow a second tragedy to befall the Alamo. Together we can and must save the Alamo.
The following bullet points list additional detrimental elements of the REIMAGINE THE ALAMO Master Plan.
* George P Bush has already thrown out the Alamo Defenders Descendants Association, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, and other heritage groups from having their ceremonies honoring the Defenders inside the Alamo Church. They are now having to conduct them outside literally in the street.
* Bush has already had the Church completely stripped of anything of religious or Battle significance. All of the state and national flags of the Defenders, Battle artifacts, and plaques have been removed. There is nothing but bare walls left. The interior of the Church now looks like a barren, deserted warehouse.
* The current plan includes placing a “First Amendment Area” at the Alamo in order for the far-left radicals to spout their revisionist and seditious proclamations. The current plan will place a tree-lined ditch of flowing water coursing through the middle of the Alamo Main Plaza. This feature is completely inappropriate and inaccurate, and no such feature ever existed in this location either during the mission period or at the time of the Battle.
* The plan would place the “North Wall” over 50 yards south of its correct location and thus still give visitors an inaccurate impression of the size of the original Alamo compound.
* The plan does not include rebuilding any of the Alamo Battle- or mission-era structures as has been done at most major historical sites throughout the United States—not even in locations at the Alamo where this would be possible. The necessary information and data are available to do this accurately, contrary to the claims of Bush’s planners.
* The plan envisions the construction of a four-story museum; however, all Battle artifacts would be confined to the basement. In addition, all visitors would be charged an entry fee to visit the museum.
* Under the new plan, the iconic site will no longer be referred to as the Alamo. Instead it will be known as the San Antonio de Valero mission.
A better and less costly alternative was previously offered and ignored by Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush. View https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykczE0kUPwY&t=149s in order to see the dramatic contrast between the two plans. * All complaints against this plan by well-respected Alamo historians, virtually all heritage groups, and multitudes of Texas citizens have been totally ignored and rebuffed by Bush and his planners. This plan was conceived with absolutely no consultation with any of the recognized Alamo experts. Thank you and please feel free to call me if I can provide any additional information that would be helpful. After the REIMAGINE THE ALAMO Master Plan came under fire, they yanked off YouTube the video of the plan as of April 2017. One of our discerning followers found it elsewhere. Here's what it would look like, as proposed, watch this.
Through your efforts the people of Texas are learning the intent behind and the contents of George P. Bush's plan for the Alamo. But there are also other very troubling aspects to Bush's tenure as Texas General Land Office Commissioner.
In addition to his Alamo plan fiascoes, Commissioner George P. Bush has made a veritable shambles of the Texas General Land Office itself. Among his first steps was to summarily fire over one hundred longtime and dedicated Land Office employees in order to replace them with his political cronies and donors--a purge he euphemistically termed a "reboot." Morale there is through the floor. Everyone is wondering if it is to be their head next on the chopping block.
One of Bush's other early actions was to have all the remaining employees gathered together in order to tell them that they were safe for now, but that their entire job responsibilities were to "make P look good"--not to work to their best abilities to serve the citizens of Texas.
It is also manifest that Bush views his office with disdain, having referred to it to a reporter as equivalent to a "dogcatcher," clearly considering the important office of Texas General Land Office Commissioner as merely a stepping stone in his quest for higher political office, thereby fulfilling his role in "the Dynasty." Bush must learn that no individual however prominent will ever be "anointed" to hold this important position for Texans.
It is time that Texas has a General Land Office Commissioner who will implement what the State Legislature intended--a plan for the Alamo that properly respects and honors the role of the world-famous Battle of 1836 and the Alamo's courageous Defenders. All the while doing this with complete financial transparency and accountability, Bush has proven over and again that he will not do this. This latest announcement released recently about a "revised" plan is just further proof of this fact, Bush has amply demonstrated that he does not have the fortitude required to stand up to Trevino, the Castro Brothers, and all the other assorted leftist politicians in the City of San Antonio that care nothing about the true legacy of the Alamo. Texans also deserve a Land Commissioner who will run the office efficiently for the benefit of the citizens of Texas, not political cronies and donors.
In confirmation of what we have been telling you, on September 23rd by a vote of 57 to 1, George P. Bush's plan for the Alamo along with the related financial aspects of its implementation have been condemned by the State Republican Executive Committee, the highest official body of the Republican Party in Texas.
This debacle has gone on for too long--four years is enough. It is time for new leadership in the Texas General Land Office.
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