SAN ANTONIO, TX. — As one of the oldest buildings in Texas, the Alamo Long Barrack requires regular attention to keep the structure in its healthiest possible state. In the coming weeks, the Alamo’s preservation team will begin repair work on the Long Barrack’s roof and stone walls.
During recent archaeological investigations in the Long Barrack, the preservation team discovered blisters in the roof of the Long Barrack. Cracks in the roof’s membrane have allowed moisture to infiltrate, causing parts of it to rise one foot above the existing roof. This modern-day roof, installed in 1975, is not a part of the original structure, and its unforeseen condition is covered under warranty by the company that originally installed the roof membrane in 2014.
In addition to the roof work, sections of the exterior walls of the Long Barrack will undergo cleaning during the next few weeks. Skilled masons will clean the limestone with water, specialized soap, and soft bristle brushes to carefully remove dirt and biological growth. When finished, the preservation team will be able to better assess the condition of the stones for a long-term masonry repair and treatment plan.
“Just like when caring for artifacts like historic documents and artwork, the Long Barrack needs cleaning every so often,” Alamo Conservator Pamela Jary Rosser said. “We will use the gentlest methods possible to clean the stones in the Long Barrack walls, using skilled masonry cleaners, and will not perform any repairs that pose a risk of damaging the structure.”
The repair work on the Long Barrack roof will begin as soon as next week, and will take only a few days to complete. The masonry cleaning on the Long Barrack walls will begin in the coming weeks. Neither preservation project will have an impact on visitor traffic.