Andrea, Patrick and I just spent the last half hour getting baked in the Alamo Plaza Hotel Courts parking lot on Fort Worth Avenue -- sadly, not that kind of baked (though I guess we could have ...). Broiled is more like it -- that concrete alley is mothereffin' hot. Nevertheless, it was hard to turn down Oaxaca Interests president Brent Jackson's invite to take a look-see 'round the boarded-up motel, which he's prepped in advance of Saturday night's Spikes N' Spokes wingding featuring eats and drinks from Smoke and Bolsa and music from RTB2 and STEW, along with a bikes-and-cycles competition for those who insist upon two-wheeling it (a good idea, given limited -- as in, no -- parking).
Hard to believe the Alamo's only been shuttered and boarded up but a few years -- place looks like it's been deserted since the apocalypse. But as you'll see in Patrick's pic that follows, and in this slide show, Jackson's painted up the boarded-up doorways to make it look more invited for the Sat-night showdown. "We hope it's somewhat engaging," he says. "We tipped our hat to Marfa and put some Donald Judd-esque colors on the wood panels that cover the windows and doors that have been kicked in. I hope it has a meaningful impact."
Speaking of: Jackson's about to put a real meaningful impact on the Alamo sooner than later. As in, he hopes to have the thing razed within the next six months. So Saturday's probably the best time to say your fond farewells.
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Really, the only thing holding back demolition now is the asbestos -- says Jackson, the Alamo needs "a ton of abatement work." But when that's out, so too is the Alamo to make way for the long-in-the-works Sylvan | Thirty mixed-use development to feature, among other things, an organic grocery store, retail, restaurants and a four-story residential building.
And, yes, despite the fact it was indeed on the 2007 Preservation Dallas Most Endangered List, it's coming down. "Before the end of the year," Jackson insists. But fret not: The iconic sign will remain.
"We are keeping that a bit of a surprise," Jackson says when asked what he intends to do with it. "But we have committed to reincorporate it back into the project. That was my promise to myself first and foremost, a promise to my investor group, and then we made a promise to Katherine Seale [of Preservation Dallas] and Michael Amonett [president of the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League]. So we've committed, and they've agreed it's OK to tear down the building after they peeked into the rooms and realized it's just a façade at this point. Once you get back there, it's pretty nasty."
Agreed. Hot too.