The Alamo Cenotaph won’t move from where it currently sits in Alamo Plaza, a vote by the Texas Historical Commission determined Tuesday.
The 15-member commission voted 12-2, with one abstention, denying a request by the City of San Antonio to relocate the Cenotaph, a 20th-century monument to Texans killed during the 1836 Battle of the Alamo as they defended the site against a siege by the Mexican Army.
The decision is a serious blow to state and local officials pushing for a $450 million Alamo redevelopment plan. Officials with the City, Texas General Land Office, and the nonprofit Alamo Trust have said that moving the Cenotaph 500 feet south to a new location outside the Menger Hotel is vital to allowing the full redevelopment to go ahead.
Others, such as THC Chair John Nau, rejected that notion during the roughly nine-hour meeting that drew public comments from more than 100 people across Texas. Nau voted to deny the relocation along with all other commissioners except for Wallace Jefferson and Earl Broussard, who voted yes, and and the commission’s Vice-Chair John Crain, who abstained.
“The Alamo plan is far too important to this commission, to our state, and to the City of San Antonio to suggest that the entire project depends on granting a single permit request,” Nau said at the meeting.
However, ahead of the vote, San Antonio officials had pointed to a 2018 agreement the City, which owns the Cenotaph and Alamo Plaza, and the Texas General Land Office, which owns the Alamo itself. Councilman Roberto Treviño (D1) and Assistant City Manager Lori Houston told commissioners that the agreement requires the City to have the Cenotaph moved as part of the overall redevelopment.
Some commissioners questioned why such an agreement would have assumed the THC would grant the relocation permit.