Alamo motel sign to become three sculpures at Sylvan Thirty

Heather Ezell

Heather Ezell

Sylvan Thirty developer Brent Jackson is keeping the Alamo Plaza Hotel Courts sign on Fort Worth Avenue. It’s just not going to be all in one piece.

Jackson asked the community in March for help in deciding how to reuse the massive sign. That annoyed preservationists who insisted the sign should remain intact and in the same spot on the roadway. And it launched a grassroots effort to “save the Alamo sign.”

The developer announced today that the sign will be reused as three sculptural pieces throughout the developement. The star from the top of the sign will be placed at the intersection of Sylvan and Interstate 30, where Pearl Cup is planning to open a shop. The Alamo silhouette and yellow arrow will be a combined element in the development’s central plaza. And the largest piece, with the words “Alamo Plaza Hotel Courts” will be placed near Fort Worth Avenue, close to Burguesa Burger.

The sculptures will be designed by architecture firm Lake Flato and Jackson himself. It turns out he has a BFA in sculpture from the University of Texas at Austin.

The Old Oak Cliff Conservation League placed the sign on its annual list of “at-risk” architecture in Oak Cliff last year.

The league sent Jackson a letter May 14 stating that the group had agreed not to oppose the demolition of the Alamo motel buildings with an agreement from Jackson that the sign would remain part of the new devleopment.

“OOCCL is in favor of the Alamo Sign remining lit, intact and on-site at Sylvan Thirty,” the letter states. “If this does not suit your development plans, we encourage you seek guidance from our group and the community for an alternative rather than destroying the integrity of the sign.”

League past president Michael Amonett says he is disappointed to hear that Jackson will “rip it up in little pieces and scatter it” around the devleopment.

“Nobody wanted that thing torn up in pieces,” Amonett says. “Once it’s all busted apart, it’s no longer what it was. It’s taken out of its context. [Jackson] obviously didn’t listen, and he just wants to do what he wants to do.”

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Red “X”es mark the spots where sculptures made from the Alamo Plaza sign will be placed in the Sylvan Thirty development.


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  • Ruth Ann Cook

    You developers are taking away the PURPOSE for the sign-and taking its history-and how is that art?

  • erngeman

    While I can understand Michael Amonett’s anguish over the fate of the Alamo sign, I think it’s obvious that the sign was “no longer what it was” and “taken out of its context” as soon as the buildings it was pointing to were demolished. Change was inevitable past that point. Things on-site were already literally “all busted apart.” And destroying the sign in order to save it is a very Dallas thing to do.

    I’m willing to give the BFA in Sculpture a shot at redemption. As OD said a week ago, “sounds cool.” Besides, spilt milk, and all that.

  • OD

    Sounds cool