171-year-old Alamo losing test of time to elements and man

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Wind, rain and the reverent touches of 2.5 million annual visitors are taking their toll on the Alamo's limestone walls, slowly eroding the landmark where one of the most important battles for Texas independence took place 171 years ago today.

It's nothing at least $1 million in research and repairs couldn't begin to fix, caretakers said.

Yet, that estimate is "probably a small amount compared to what really needs to be done to adequately handle the site," said Texas Historical Commission Executive Director Larry Oaks on Monday.

"This is one where Texans just flat would not give up," Oaks said.

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas, who have safeguarded the shrine since 1902, are preparing the Alamo's first master plan for upgrades since 1979. Daughters of the Republic officials said they can mitigate the destructive forces of nature and man if they can raise large sums for preservation. They also want to enhance the visitor experience at the hallowed site.

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