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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Grad students help Alamo preservation

 
 

As time takes its toll on the Texan landmark that symbolizes the fight for independence that occurred more than 175 years ago, a conservation team led by Robert Warden, professor of architecture and director of Texas A&M’s Center for Heritage Conservation, strives to ensure the Alamo does not become merely a memory.
The team consists of seven A&M graduate students as well as professors and students from Texas A&M Kingsville, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas at San Antonio.
“This kind of groundbreaking preservation
project at the Alamo is long overdue,” said Jerry Patterson, commissioner of the Texas General Land Office and class of 1970 in a statement. “The data gained will be vital to ensuring the Alamo remains an icon of Texas history and personal freedom for future generations.”
The team uses historical data detailing the famous 1836 battle and other events surrounding the structure. Scanning and recording imaging data then creates 2-D and 3-D models of the Alamo when entered into a design software that will be used to help repair weather damage.
“We’re using texts, drawings and photographs, if they’re available, to create the models,” Warden said.
Carolina Manrique, an architecture graduate student and member of the team, said their data will help Pat Rosser, the Alamo’s conservator, preserve the historic site.
“We scan and record the data as it is now and have another group working on models using historical documentation such as texts, drawings, and photographs that let us see how it has altered over time,” Manrique said. “We study the state of the material, the structure of the Alamo using 3-D laser scanning to get detailed information regarding its appearance.”
Manrique said the team consists of student in Warden’s summer course called “Recording of Buildings” in which they study different architectural features and sites. In addition to the Alamo, the students are also studying G. Rollie White Coliseum to collect data from it before it is demolished.
Another group in the class is currently working in Belize, studying a Mayan archeological site. Last summer, the class studied Alcatraz Island.
Manrique said the ultimate goal is to preserve an important piece of Texas history.
“It is important to have as much accurate information as possible to keep track of and maintain [the Alamo] over the years,” she said. “We get to see and find other historical things that we haven’t seen yet. The technology helps contribute to the memory of a place and this technology allows us to preserve a site that’s important to the Texas community.”

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