inside the Alamo Hall
You'll be able to drink alcohol on the grounds of the Alamo in San Antonio starting next month.
Texas State Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, whose office manages the Alamo, says the plan is to allow catered events taking place at Alamo Hall, a small meeting venue behind the Shrine of Texas Liberty, include liquor.
'I see nothing that is irreverent or disrespectful about that," Patterson told 1200 WOAI news.
The Alamo Hall is a former San Antonio Fire Station which was built in 1922, and was not on the grounds of the Alamo when it was first constructed. It is adjacent to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas' Alamo Library.
The DRT owns the Alamo, which is the site of the famous 1836 battle between forces of the newly created Republic of Texas and the Mexican Army. It is one of the most recognizable, and most visited, buildings in the world, and was recently nominated to become a World Heritage Site. The Alamo, technically called the Mission San Antonio de Valero, was one of several Catholic mission churches built by Spanish settlers along the San Antonio River in the 18th Century.
Some DRT officials have blasted the move, saying it disrespects the Shrine of Texas Liberty and the defenders.
“The Daughters of the Republic of Texas strongly object to the serving of alcohol at The Alamo complex," President General Karen Thompson said.
“The Alamo grounds are considered sacred, not only because 189 men died in battle on March 6, 1836, but because the remains of Native American’s are buried and entombed on the complex property.
For over 107 years, the DRT has proudly upheld strong standards at the shrine and have never allowed alcohol out of respect for the souls that sacrificed their lives for Texas freedom. In the past, two 2-star Generals have respectfully led toasts with apple cider at Alamo Hall in adherence to the solemn decorum of the shrine."
Patterson says it's not unusual for alcohol to be served at events at other dignified historic sites.
"At Gettysburg after hours events are allowed to have alcohol," he said. "The Missouri, the Battleship Missouri overlooking the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, alcohol is allowed."
He says the Alamo Hall will not be rented to weddings or 'frat parties.' He says alcohol will be limited by Alamo Rangers to the hall and the patio in front of the hall. Patterson says the Alamo, the DRT, or the Texas General Land Office will not sell alcohol, but will allow caterers to provide alcohol in the hall. Alamo Rangers, the Alamo’s private security force, will be posted to make sure the liquor doesn’t get onto the Alamo grounds.
He expects some of the most common events to take place at the Hall will be military retirement ceremonies.
"And, frankly, if that Colonel or Mastery Gunnery Sergeant wants to offer a toast to his service, or be the recipient of a toast to his service, I don't see anything wrong with that at all."