After a year of construction and ‘no comment’ from officials, it has finally been revealed that a new interactive tourist attraction called ‘Battle for Texas: the Experience’ will be moving into the old Joske’s department store at Rivercenter Mall, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Producer Joe Gold says visits to the Alamo convinced him, as it has convinced city and state officials, that people want more information about the pivotal battle.
“More in depth study, more to understand the context in which it happened,” Gold said. “We decided to tell the story, using 250 incredible items and artifacts that we have collected.”
Brian Becker of Base Entertainment says the dazzling presentation will be like ‘traveling through time to a crucial point in history.
He says by using ’21st Century technology to tell a 19th Century story, visitors will be transported virtually to Santa Anna’s battle tent on the eve of the battle, or will be able to cross the line in the sand which has just been drawn by Col. Travis.
“Through the sights, sounds, and even smells, our guests will experience the 13 says of the seige in a personal and visceral way, just like those inside the walls,” Becker said.
Gold says although ‘Battle for Texas, the Experience’ has been done ‘in consultation’ with the Texas General Land Office and Alamo Director Becky Dinnin, it is not an official part of the current effort to upgrade Alamo Plaza and improve the tourist experience.
For example, the 250 artifacts from the battle that Gold plans to display are not the same artifacts that were donated by musician Phil Collins and which are the object of a museum which is part of the long term Alamo Plaza master plan.
Gold says many of these items are from scattered private collections and have never been seen in public before.
“Sam Houston’s boots and his spurs and his saddle blanket, we have Santa Anna’s uniform that he surrendered in at San Jacinto, we have Bowie Knives, we have Crockett’s long knife.”
Historian Alex McDuffie, who will be the Curator of the exhibition, says this is the ‘finest collection of historical Texas artifacts ever assembled for the public.’
Gold says in addition to the Battle itself, visitors will be able to see the development of the Mission Culture in Texas, the land as it was before the arrival of the Spanish, and how the Alamo has shaped Texas over the last 180 years.
“We are recreating settings, we have some film displays, there is original music, original art, and it will be a fantastic opportunity for people to see.”
The exhibition opens in February.