July 22, 2013 By Colin Wood
In an effort to preserve The Alamo, one of the state’s most popular tourist attractions -- that is vulnerable to aging and erosion -- researchers are looking to get a better understanding of how the structure is being affected by erosion, heat and cold, and also are building a more thorough record of the historical site using 3-D laser scanning and photogrammetry.
The preservation of The Alamo is important for historical reasons, but doing so is also one of the newly appointed duties of the Texas General Land Office, said Communications Director Mark Loeffler.
“It’s the crossroads of Texas history, there’s no doubt,” he said. “With over 300 years of history, dating back to the Spanish Colonial period, it’s played a part not only in Texas history but the history of this region, the American Southwest, unlike almost any other place, so it’s clearly worth saving.”
Students and professors at Texas A&M University began work on the project at the end of 2012, and they’re now looking to complete the data collection phase and begin analyzing what was collected. Students from Texas A&M University at Kingsville, the University of Texas and the University of Texas at San Antonio are also involved in the project.
“We were basically taking records to have accurate information about the state of the surface of the building as it is now,” said Carolina Manrique, a PhD student at Texas A&M University’s College of Architecture.
Another group, she said, is looking at documents like drawings, plans and texts to create yet another resource that the site’s conservator will be able to draw from. By combining the information gathered from direct data collection and academic research, Manrique said they will be able to “triangulate” the most accurate information possible about the site.