As we remember the Alamo, here are more (see Part 1) local examples of Spanish mission architecture and some bonus Alamo minutia:
Even if you don’t recognize the parapet of the Solomon Building (1903) on Houston Street, you’d probably recognize what is below: the Red Goose sign of Solomon’s Juvenile Shoe Store.
A two-fer: the current sanctuary and the porch of the former sanctuary of Gethsemane Presbyterian Church on Bluff Street.
Wade-Rall house (1913) on College Avenue. Among the early occupants was Mary Smith, widow of Fort Worth city father John Peter Smith.
House on 5th Avenue.
At Dr. Pillow Park in North Richland Hills. The park is named for local physician Dr. David J. Pillow. (Thanks to Gary Yeary for telling me about this one.)
Bonus Alamo minutia: On December 21, 1917 the Star-Telegram reported the death in San Antonio of Enrique Esparza, eighty-nine, the last survivor of the Alamo (photo from Texas State Library and Archives Commission). After the Alamo fell, Santa Anna’s troops found a group of Mexican women barricaded in the mission. With the women was Esparza, then a boy of eight. He was the son of Alamo defender Gregorio Esparza, who was killed in battle.
Yet more Alamo minutia: Shhh. Don’t tell anyone, but . . . Marty Robbins’s 1960 song, “Ballad of the Alamo,” was composed by Dimitri Tiomkin with lyrics by Paul Francis Webster. Webster also wrote the lyrics of “Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing,” “The Shadow of Your Smile,” “Green Leaves of Summer,” “April Love,” “Friendly Persuasion,” “The Twelfth of Never,” and “Somewhere, My Love.” Tiomkin scored too many classic movies to list—mostly westerns and Hitchcocks, even “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
The two men won a total of seven Oscars.
This account in the Vermont Phoenix was published more than a month after the fall of the Alamo. And contrary to this “bulletin,” Fannin and his men had already been massacred at Goliad. News traveled slowly in those pre-Twitter days.
Most of the defenders of the Alamo were born outside of Texas, in birthplaces such as Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, even France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. And the birthplaces of the two creators of this most goosebump-breeding of Texas songs? Tiomkin was born in Russia. Webster was born in New York City.
Marty Robbins sings “Ballad of the Alamo”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbX1JKknS04