Alamo/San Antonio Missions Now UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Matters Of Interest Concerning The Alamo Itself.

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Re: Alamo/San Antonio Missions Now UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Postby NefariousNed on Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:47 pm

San Antonio’s World Heritage Development Plan Taking Shape
Edmond Ortiz - Rivard Report
on 14 January, 2016 at 01:43

City Council was briefed on Wednesday on the development of a work plan that when finished will recommend
how to protect, improve and promote the World Heritage designation site.

The plan will focus on the four Spanish colonial missions on the Southside that, along with the Alamo, received
World Heritage designation last summer. The Mission Heritage Buffer, as the City calls it, covers 5,775 acres,
including 883 acres of parkland. It probably is the richest concentration of public park space in San Antonio,
and home to a world-class set of colonial structures that help tell the story of when European soldiers, missionaries
and settlers first laid claim to lands here and began to convert the indigenous population.

San Antonio’s Missions, collectively, make up the first UNESCO World Heritage site in Texas, and only the 23rd
in the United States. After Philadelphia and Independence Hall, the World Heritage site here is only the second
one in located in the heart of a U.S. city, three if you count New York and the Statue of Liberty that sits on Liberty
Island in the New York Harbor.

Beyond the importance of preserving the cultural heritage rooted in the Missions and Alamo, itself once the first
mission in San Antonio, the economic value of the designation is significant. Officials estimate the World Heritage
site will generate between $44 million and $105 million yearly, between 500 and 1,000 new jobs, and $2 million in
local hotel tax revenue. First, however, the Missions and their surroundings, and the Alamo and Alamo Plaza will
require substantial investment.

City Manager Sheryl Sculley said the plan is a work in progress.

“It’s a dynamic document and changes can be made as more information is gathered,” she said.

Public input has been vital to the work plan’s development, and will continue to be important, according to Assistant
City Manager Lori Houston. She cited the continuing series of symposiums on World Heritage. The next symposium,
which will focus on sensitive development and land use, will be held Feb. 6 at the STEM Early College High School in
the Harlandale Independent School District, which is located at 4040 Apollo St. off Roosevelt Avenue next to
Harlandale Memorial Stadium.

The early version of the work plan aims attempts to balance environmental and preservation considerations around
the Missions with existing homes and businesses and new development.

It’s a complex proposition. As Houston pointed out during her presentation, there are five existing zoning overlay
districts, 10 neighborhood associations, seven neighborhood plans, five tax increment reinvestment zones that
come into play when considering the entire Mission footprint. City staff know they will need to bring clarity to that
many layered map in order for people to understand how the area can be both protected and improved without
individuals becoming mired in red tape.

The City will soon seek additional input from the Council and the community for recommended infrastructure
improvements inside the buffer zone. If approved by the Council, any such recommendations could be funded by
a mix of fiscal year 2016 budget amendments, regularly scheduled maintenance money, and the 2017 bond proposal,
Sculley said.

One facet of the work plan will guide show locals and visitors how best to get to the Missions by bus, bicycle, walking,
and driving. The City is looking at ways to enhance the experience all by all transportation modes.

That will include safer signage and routing for cyclists. The roadways between downtown and the Missions are among
the most heavily used cycling routes in the city. Among the many challenges, Houston said, are residents who use
designated bike lanes as on-street parking. An official Mission Trail from South Alamo Street to South St. Mary’s
Street can be identified by green candy cane-shaped light poles, Houston said.

The City is working with companies like Grayline that offer guided tours of the Missions. VIA Metropolitan Transit
will fully extend Route 42 bus service straight from downtown to the Missions by this June.

A beautification plan along the major arteries leading to the Missions will begin in April. The plan includes landscaping,
better lighting, information banners, public art, code enforcement, graffiti abatement, and addressing the area’s
chronic stray dogs problem.

A weekend tour of near Eastside and Southside neighborhoods for the Rivard Report’s new photographer Kathryn
Boyd-Batstone featured stray dogs on virtually every single block before a stray-free block was finally sighted. Some
of the dogs were true strays, others were near their owners who allow their pets to run loose, chase cyclists and
vehicles, and roam the neighborhood.

The work plan also will be guided by the City’s vacant building registration program, instituted in January 2015,
which covers historic districts within the buffer zone.

The work plan also will address wayfinding, which was a major concern for many people who attended the Dec. 5
World Heritage symposium. As the branding process for the World Heritage site develops, Houston said good signage
for the Missions must provide safe and easy paths for all visitors.

Resident Bill Bordelon and Razi Hosseini of the City’s Transportation and Capital Improvements department discuss
the possible infrastructure changes on road leading to the missions during the World Heritage Symposium on Oct. 14,
2015. Photo by Lea Thompson.

“We have so many signs in the area, but there needs to be a good inventory of those signs and we need to layer them,”
she said, referencing a GIS-based inventory that is in the works.

The continuing public input process will include a market assessment and the development of a policy to incentivize the
growth of small businesses to complement the Missions district. While the City cannot ban or dissuade retail chains from
coming to the area, it hopes to repurpose old area motels and retails storefronts, and encourage the establishment of
local, “authentic” businesses, Houston said.

This represents an opportunity for small hotels, hostels and on-demand platforms such as AirBnB to accommodate what
will be a growing number of visitors who want to stay close to the Missions for convenience and to avoid more expensive
downtown hotels.

The City’s assessment will be completed this Spring and include details of economic incentives, and planning and zoning

Marketing will entail sharing official information about the Missions and World Heritage designation, as well as
encouragement of neighborhood residents and anyone else interested in sharing their personal stories.

The City’s Office of Historic Preservation, with the help of District 3 residents, is creating a map that indicates significant
places in the area as identified through oral histories. The public is invited to a “Cultural Mapping and Story Collection”
event on Saturday, Jan. 16 at the Mission Library from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

The City also plans to hire a World Heritage coordinator/manager – not necessarily an executive director – this February,
and develop additional ambassador certification this May. Mayor Ivy Taylor and Council members said they like what they
see in the work plan so far.

“I’m really excited to hear the progress that’s been made in a short period of time,” Mayor Taylor said, adding that she
looks forward to the unveiling of a mobile app this summer that will multilingual information, including audio tours,
history, routing and events listings.

The nurturing of existing small businesses in the area, Taylor said, is important.

“This isn’t just about tourism. You have people living near these sites and we have to balance the impacts,” Taylor said.

Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran (D3) thanked all organizations and agencies that have contributed to San Antonio’s World
Heritage site development.

“The magnitude of something like this is so great, not just for our city but for the state,” she said.

Councilman Roberto Trevino (D1) said he hopes Stinson Municipal Airport is integrated into the work plan.
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Re: Alamo/San Antonio Missions Now UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Postby NefariousNed on Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:25 pm

World Heritage Symposium Addresses Land Use Around Missions
Camille Garcia - for The Rivard Report
on 7 February, 2016 at 00:02 ... 50x695.jpg

Increased green spaces and limited development surrounding the five Spanish mission sites were hotly-debated
subjects during the City’s third World Heritage Symposium on Saturday. Since the historical sites received World
Heritage status last July, community members have expressed concern over the 5,700-acres of mission land.

Saturday’s forum was meant to gather community input regarding what sort of development, if any, residents
would like to see in the areas surrounding the five missions.

Mayor Ivy Taylor welcomed citizens and City officials to the STEM High School cafeteria in Harlandale ISD on
Saturday, where she reminded attendees to “focus on preserving and incorporating (the missions) historical
aspects while we grow and plan for our future.”

Nearly 100 community members attended the symposia on Saturday, including members of neighborhood
associations, the San Antonio River Authority, the National Park Service, and citizens with deep ties to the
missions. City Manager Sheryl Sculley and Assistant City Manager Lori Houston were also present to listen
to the community’s ideas and concerns.

Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran (D3) shared several World Heritage updates that had occurred since the last
symposia held in December. VIA Metropolitan Transit has committed to extending Route 42 to all five missions
by June 2016, and the City’s Transportation and Capital Improvements Department will complete a beautification
project for the major routes connecting to the missions by April 2016.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau has begun working with tour bus companies to extend tour routes to all
five missions, Viagran said, and the San Antonio River Authority has taken inventory of all signage from the
airport to downtown to the missions, in an effort to better wayfinding for motorists and bicyclists.

According to a TCI assessment, the area surrounding the missions requires $43.4 million to improve the
infrastructure, which includes: $14.7 million in streets, $20.5 million in sidewalks, and $8.2 million for utility
burial. City Council will assess how to move forward with those improvements in the coming months.

Finally, the City is looking to develop a World Heritage mobile app to enhance the visitor experience.

Before breaking into the small group sessions, Viagran reiterated that she does not support the multi-family
housing proposal in front of Mission San José by 210 Development Group, but still encouraged attendees to
keep an open mind when considering each development possibility.

“I know some people get really anxious about the word ‘development,’ but the truth is development means
economic development, growth, jobs, things that are good for our community and long overdue for the
Southside,” she said. “We can do this with a balance.”

City volunteers helped lead the symposium’s small-group discussion programming, splitting attendees into
10 groups. Each group worked with a set of maps featuring six key neighborhood plans, including: Downtown,
Lavaca, Lone Star, South Central San Antonio Community, Stinson Airport Vicinity and Heritage South Sector.
Those six neighborhoods would encompass the 5,700 acre World Heritage buffer zone and specific goals
regarding land use.

Beatrice “Bea” Quintero-Erfurth came to the symposium because she has had a deep connection with Mission
Espada since she was a little girl. The World Heritage designation, she said, is an opportunity to share the
missions’ unique culture and history with others.

“When I first heard about the World Heritage designation, I couldn’t stop crying,” Quintero-Erfurth said.
“I wanted other people to know about how special (the missions) are and now they’ll know.”

Each group worked to determine preferred land developments using a set of colored dot stickers, each color
indicating a different type of development. The seven development options included: single family residential,
multifamily residential, mixed use, commercial, industrial, parks/open space, and agricultural space.

Each neighborhood plan was carefully reviewed and sparked lively discussion among group members, but the
most controversial plans included those surrounding the Alamo, Mission Concepción, and Mission San José.

Terry Ybanez, a member of the Mission San José Neighborhood Association, said she believes open discussions
should take place in order to make sure all community voices are heard.

“I think having discussions with the community before decisions are made is important,” she said. “The change
at Concepción, that should have been halted by a discussion like this, but it wasn’t.”

The “change” Ybanez referred to is the new $26 million multi-family development that was approved to go up
in place of St. John’s Seminary near Mission Concepción. The project won City approval last October despite
protests and public backlash from the missions’ passionate neighbors.

Vincent Huizar, another attendee, has been connected to the missions through his family for more than 300 years.
His ancestors played a major role in the construction of Mission San José. Though his group, along with others,
pushed for expanded green space surrounding the missions, Huizar saw the other side of coin as a threat to
existing neighbors in the area.

“They’re talking a lot about a lot of green space, but you’re going to be eliminating a lot of people in houses
there and you can’t do that because some of these people tie in going back to 300 years or further back,”
Huizar said.

Near the end of the afternoon, the attendees reconvened in the cafeteria to report and hear each group’s
findings. The general consensus was not surprising: nearly every group mentioned a strong disapproval for
industrialization and commercialization in any area near the missions and pushed more for small, local
businesses to occupy those spaces.

Most groups said that if commercialization or industrialization were to occur, it should occur in areas that
are not adjacent to any of the missions. The area near the Blue (Lone)Star Brewery would be appropriate for mixed-
use developments that could include commercial, cultural, institutional, or industrial uses.

The approach to multi-family housing units varied, some group members noted the value of having affordable
living in the area, but others worried about the potential disruption those multi-family units could cause.

Passionate citizens like Maria Torres, tribal chief of the Pacuache Tilijaya Coahuiltecan Tribe of Texas, urged
the City, once again, to designate the land surrounding the missions as parkland.

“We’re not against urbanization and progress, but the site is an archaeological site with multiple Indian burial
sites,” she said.

With some worry about the rise in property taxes or rent because of more development and tourism in the areas
around the missions, Mayor Taylor said the City is working to use initiatives already in place, such as the property-
tax free program available in historic districts.

The City is “also looking at incentives that we may provide for types of development to try and create mixed-
income neighborhoods and protect opportunities for those without as much income to continue to live in these
areas,” Taylor added.

Councilwoman Viagran told attendees that the City Council would review all recommendations made by the
attendees in May; additional public and stakeholder meetings will be held to further discuss the future of the
land use and development goals.

“After this step we’ll even have more community input from neighborhood groups, from stakeholder groups and
make sure that we can have the economic growth and opportunity but balance it with the reverence of our
missions,” she added.

City officials are looking to hire an official World Heritage director, Viagran said, to be “the touch point for all
of these issues that are taking place.”

For Quintero-Erfurth, this is a time that the City needs to be innovative in preserving the history of the missions
and in turn relaying that history to visitors and residents alike.

“When people come here, they want to connect with the place and how it used to be,” she said. “We should hold
onto a little bit of how it used to be, for them.”
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Re: Alamo/San Antonio Missions Now UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Postby NefariousNed on Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:30 pm

World Heritage: Working Together on Next Steps
Rebecca Viagran for The Rivard Report
on 4 April, 2016 at 02:11

Since October 2015, District 3 has hosted three World Heritage symposia designed
to engage the public in the effort to preserve and sustain the Missions of San Antonio.
The symposia have facilitated an open, engaging process not only for residents of
San Antonio’s Southside, but also for the entire San Antonio community. These events
were consistently well attended and served as positive mechanisms for collecting
feedback about the UNESCO World Heritage designation, visitor experience, and
sensitive development and land use. The City has used the symposia series to develop
a work plan to maximize the benefits of the designation.

As I have shared many times before, the Southside, District 3 and the area surrounding
our World Heritage Missions represent the past, present and future of San Antonio.
Throughout this process multiple themes have emerged organically. One to highlight
is the desire to maintain the authentic character of the community. Whether this
character is displayed through our wayfinding/signage, transportation routes,
infrastructure, land use and development, tourism and visitor experience, cultural
heritage and storytelling, or small business development, we must ensure we capture
this authenticity.

On Tuesday, April 5, the City will host a World Heritage Open House at the National
Park Service Visitor Center at Mission San José at 6 p.m. The open house invites the
public to view the progress being made on the World Heritage Work Plan and to provide
feedback on that progress. City departments and community partners will have tables
to display input and feedback received throughout the symposia series, and will be
available to answer questions.

This collaborative effort among all of the partners to obtain the designation and the
development of the work plan has already gained national attention and San Antonio
has become a model for other sites seeking UNESCO World Heritage designation.
Stephen Morris, chief of the National Park Service Office of International Affairs,
has stated that the nine-year collaborative effort of the many stakeholders in San
Antonio has been outstanding, and our designation has reaffirmed the United States’
commitment to the World Heritage program. Furthermore, it is also our continued
collaborative efforts to promote this designation and our status as an international
city that make us a leader and model.

Last month, the City hired the first World Heritage Director, Colleen Swain, a San
Antonio Southside native. This position is the first of its kind for designated World
Heritage sites, again making San Antonio a leader for those seeking designation.
Colleen will continue the work of the symposia series and engage our partners in the
implementation of the comprehensive plan to preserve the cultural history of the
Missions, to promote sensitive development, and to enhance tourism.

As before, it takes a team and all of us working together.

To date, the City’s Office of Historic Preservation has collected more than 70 stories
about the traditions of our Missions, the areas surrounding them, and the people who
love them. Collecting these stories enables us to map the culture of World Heritage
and to preserve the traditions and intangible heritage that are integral to our Missions.
We will continue to reach out to the community for more valuable stories and even
arrange for home visits to collect them.

The San Antonio River Authority completed an inventory of existing wayfinding signage
along the River Walk, Mission sites, and throughout the city. The assessment identified
appropriate ways to promote the World Heritage designation, to improve the wayfinding
experience to all five Missions, and to develop a multimodal concept to direct visitors to
and from downtown and the Missions. Additionally, the assessment and feedback from
the symposia led to the decision to use one common brand image for the World Heritage
Trail and supplemental signage.

The San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau is working to enhance the overall visitor
experience with opportunities to experience our Missions in new ways. Marketing materials
now include World Heritage branding. The website explains the history of our Missions
and the significance of our designation. The CVB will also look for promotional media
opportunities similar to a recent piece in the Washington Post which drew national attention
to our efforts to preserve Native American history at Texas’s first World Heritage site.

There are now behind-the-scenes and guided “Unforgettable Experience” tours. Soon there
will be a new World Heritage ambassador certification available in conjunction with the
Certified Tourism Ambassador certification program so those in our hospitality industry are
well-versed in the history of the Missions and can be resources to visitors. A mobile website
will allow visitors to easily access directions, history, event calendars, and other information
in 5 different languages which will require improved cell service and Wi-Fi infrastructure at
the Missions.

In an identified effort to promote existing businesses surrounding the Missions, the City has
partnered with UTSA on a market assessment that will identify tools for small business owners.
It will also look to create a legacy business program that recognizes and promotes businesses
that have been mainstays within our community. As we honor our rich history, we want to
ensure our local businesses and the stories they tell remain within our community for decades
to come.

Something we heard repeatedly at symposia was the desire to have public transportation for
all five Missions. In late March, the VIA Metropolitan Transit Board of Trustees unanimously
approved proposed route changes, including extended service to the Mission Reach. Starting
on Monday, June 6, the route adjustments will extend service to all of the Missions with service
extending to Mission Espada when construction on Espada Road is complete. VIA will also
brand the new route to represent the history and heritage of the route.

Finally, I want to address the concerns some have expressed regarding the possibility of
displacement associated with the World Heritage designation. The San Antonio Housing
Commission to Protect and Preserve Dynamic and Diverse Neighborhoods is committed to
encouraging investment in neighborhoods while preventing and minimizing displacement.
This task force has formed subcommittees to address more focused areas such as creating
more workforce and affordable housing, amending the zoning processes, and hosting annual
housing summits. The effort is ongoing and not limited to the Southside alone, but is a
city-wide effort that will be incorporated into our efforts to preserve and enhance our entire

Again, I reaffirm my commitment to ensuring that the economic development and growth
surrounding our Missions is authentic to our character, respectful of the surrounding
parishes, parks, neighborhoods, and businesses, and that it includes input from everyone.

We are the first World Heritage site in Texas and with it comes much responsibility. I believe
the commitment of the City and our partners, as well as your continued feedback, will lead us
as we all grow together in our global city.
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Re: Alamo/San Antonio Missions Now UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Postby NefariousNed on Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:28 am

Texas Land Cmr. George P. Bush's statement regarding U.S. withdrawal from UNESCO
Contact: Brittany Eck
(512) 463-5708
STATEMENT — Oct 12, 2017

AUSTIN - Today Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush released the following statement regarding the announcement that the
United States will withdraw its membership to the United Nations Educational, Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO):

"I join Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in praising President Trump's strong show of support for Israel. America has no
better ally and no truer friend in the world than Israel and today's decision says loud and clear that the UN badly needs reform."

In response to inquiries as to how the withdrawal will affect the Alamo:

"I said it two years ago and I'll say it again: The UN will never have any role or influence at the Alamo as long as I am its guardian.
I am fully committed to reinforce the story of 1836 and restore reverence to the Cradle of Texas Liberty."

In August of 2016, Commissioner Bush traveled to Israel, to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders
to discuss possible Texas-Israel partnerships on issues including technology and desalinization. You can read more about the trip in
Cmr. Bush's editorial - Texas and Israel: 21st Century Strategic and Economic Alliance.

This is not the first time the U.S. has chosen to withdraw its membership in UNESCO. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan withheld its
mandatory fees and withdrew its membership from UNESCO in protest of increasing politicization within the organization. Additional
member states have withdrawn in the past citing similar dissatisfactions with the organization.
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Re: Alamo/San Antonio Missions Now UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Postby Seguin on Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:39 am

"I said it two years ago and I'll say it again: The UN will never have any role or influence at the Alamo as long as I am its guardian.

That´s easy for him to say since the UN never had any influence at the Alamo at all. :D He´s just preaching to the choir, the UN paranoia people.
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Re: Alamo/San Antonio Missions Now UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Postby NefariousNed on Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:37 am

In today's Express News:
MissionsUNESCO-ExpressNews10-13-17.jpg (67.97 KiB) Viewed 132 times
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