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Remembering The Alamo: Ways To Interpret What Remains Of The Alamo Plaza Courts In A Present-Day Context

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Abstract

This thesis explores the challenges that Alamo Plaza Tourist Courts face today. Often considered the first motel chain in America, these courts were once one of the most iconic motel prototypes around the country. Many have been demolished, yet a few still exist. This thesis traces the history of events in Waco from whence the Alamo Plaza chain originated and, in the changing hospitality industry in America, provides the context for which the courts developed and grew as a national chain. It provides strategies for adaptive reuse so that these sites might thrive once again. The remaining sites have been treated in different ways and have drastically changed over the years, yet they share similarities. All were located on frequently traveled commercial strips that lead out of the city center. As the effects of suburbanization hollowed out American cities, interstate highways changed travel patterns and the hospitality industry and its customers moved in new directions. Many Alamo Plazas were forced to reinvent themselves. The sites have gone through changes of use and partial demolition as the surrounding environment was transformed.

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2019-05-30

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Keywords

Historic Preservation; Alamo; motel; tourist courts; Urban planning; architecture

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Committee Chair

Chusid, Jeffrey M.

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Committee Member

Tomlan, Michael Andrew

Degree Discipline

City and Regional Planning

Degree Name

M.A., City and Regional Planning

Degree Level

Master of Arts

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Government Document

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dissertation or thesis

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