In December of 2015, the General Land Office acquired the Woolworth, Crockett and Palace buildings, a portion of which resides within the original footprint of the Alamo fortress built in 1724.
This section of the compound's wall included the headquarters where Lieutenant Colonel William B. Travis, leader of the Alamo’s defenders, penned his famous letters calling for reinforcements in 1836. The new Alamo Museum and Visitors Center will be built in the location these three buildings currently occupy.
At present, no final decision has been made regarding the incorporation of the existing buildings into the museum design. The architectural firm of John G. Waite Associates, Architects, PLLC was hired to conduct an assessment of the Crockett, Palace, and Woolworth buildings’ design, structure, place in history, and potential for preservation.
HKS, the architect of record and Machado Silvetti Associates , the Museum and Visitor Center design firm will use the results of the historic assessment to guide their recommendations on whether to repurpose the existing buildings, leave only their facades, or house the Phil Collins Texana Collection in an entirely new structure at the site.
Regardless of the decision made, the Museum and Visitors Center will ensure that the historical significance of the Woolworth building in the San Antonio Civil Rights movement. The honoring of the civil rights movement is one of the specified requirements in the lease signed by the City of San Antonio and the General Land Office for developing the Alamo plaza.
As Alamo Plaza became a center for city commerce in the early 20th century and has continued as such into modern times, the San Antonio Woolworth store, built in 1920 was involved in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, regarding the desegregation of lunch counters. San Antonio scholar and Trinity University Associate Professor of History and History Department Chair Carey D. Latimore has been working with the Alamo since the summer of 2019 to enable the accurate telling of this portion of Alamo Plaza’s history. At this time, the final design plans for the Alamo Museum and Visitor Center have not yet been released. Stay tuned for updates!