Researching the Alamo – Did It Ever Have a Roof? – a San Antonio Roofing Analysis
Lately I’ve been studying different commercial landmarks across San Antonio and their roofs.
Today I wanted to dive into the most famous San Antonio landmark of them all – the Alamo. Though it’s not exactly a commercial building, with a commercial roof, I figured the historical significance of the Alamo warranted another San Antonio roofing analysis. I wanted to know – did the Alamo ever have a roof? If so, when?
Here’s what I learned:
- When the Alamo was originally planned, the plan was for a domed roof, lanked by bell towers, and would be barrel-vaulted
- This original vision of the Alamo’s roof didn’t come to bear until 1757, when construction finally was completed on the Alamo mission
- Shortly though after construction, two stone towers flanking the Alamo collapsed, destroying the roof
- The Alamo was rebuilt following the collapse, though a roof wasn’t added back until nearly a 100 years later, when in the mid-1800s, the U.S. Army (who had been using the roof as a storehouse) needed a roof to protect goods inside. The solution was the construction of a pitched roof.
- This pitched roof ultimately resulted in the iconic hump shape at the front of the Alamo (this façade was built to hide the pitched roof)
- A fire destroyed the roof in 1861 (the Alamo’s roof could never catch a break!)
- 60 years later, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas constructed a metal roof over the Alamo.
- In 1968, the Alamo’s long barracks were also roofed, as San Antonio made the Alamo the museum and tourist attraction that it is today
The Alamo is truly a San Antonio roofing wonder. I’m not going to lie – this research instilled a new found sense of pride in me as a Texan and San Antonian.
God Bless the men that sacrificed their lives defending the Alamo – we’ll never forget!
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