GONZALES — Another first for the community of Gonzales.
On Thursday, May 10, students in the seventh grade studying Texas History at Gonzales Junior High School became the first students in the state of Texas to hear a special presentation put on by the Texas Land Office. The presentation was on the history of the Alamo, Gonzales’ connection and role in the Alamo story, and what the state of Texas and City of San Antonio are trying to do to preserve, enhance and embrace the hallowed history.
Bryan Preston, who has worked in the Land Office for four years, spoke to over 210 seventh grade students and members of the community for over 30 minutes on the importance of the Alamo in Texas and United States history.
“The preservation and restoration of the Alamo is the most important project being undertaken anywhere in the United States—bar none,” Preston said. “This is the great mission of our time, and we will restore and preserve the Alamo, we will build a museum to house all of the wonderful artifacts we have, and we will restore the battlefield area to preserve the integrity of the site.
“We (the state of Texas) are working hand-in-hand with the City of San Antonio, and we are mapping out a consistent plan and strategy to preserve the greatest landmark in Texas.”
Preston did a power point presentation to the audience, emphasizing the need for preservation of the buildings on the Alamo site and the need to change the surrounding environment of downtown San Antonio in order to preserve the site in its historic context. Preston said that the city is working with downtown businesses to relocate off the square into an entertainment district, which would allow the Alamo to build a museum across the street from the current buildings.
“Rock star Phil Collins has one of the great Alamo artifact collections in the world,” Preston said. “He has donated it to the Alamo with a few caveats—the main being that a museum would have to be built to house the artifacts he has collected.
“It is an awesome collection, and because of the role the Alamo played in the struggle for Texas Independence it deserves a world class museum. With Phil Collins’ donation, we will be able to show it all off once we get everything settled in downtown San Antonio.”
Preston was also very impressed with Gonzales and the seventh graders in attendance.
“I will not forget Gonzales,” Preston said. “These students were magnificent today. They were attentive, engaged, and very well behaved. Based on what we did here today, I want to be able to talk to more students. Their parents should be proud of them.
“Based on what I have seen here today, I think it is incumbent on those of us who are working on this important project to make sure Gonzales is part of our story and museum display. I am so thankful y’all invited me here today and exposed me to the wonderful history of Gonzales and it’s role in Texas’ Independence and just how strongly the people here embrace that history. Thank you.”