Is the Alamo crumbling because of this man’s grandpa?

Hand out photo of the Alamo. -- The Alamo seems spooky enough, but its curator and historian neither acknowledges nor denies ghosts. CREDIT: Richard Nowitz courtesy San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau. Received 07/14/11

Hand out photo of the Alamo. — The Alamo seems spooky enough, but its curator and historian neither acknowledges nor denies ghosts. CREDIT: Richard Nowitz courtesy San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau. Received 07/14/11

According to the San Antonio Express-News, the Alamo is crumbling. And according to Texas Monthly contributor Michael Hardy, it could be his grandfather’s fault.

“Well, sort of,” Hardy clarified in a piece for the magazine.

As the Express-News reports, the limestone walls of the historic Texas structure are crumbling (debris on the floor and all) because of the building’s air conditioning system. “The building was never intended to be that way,” one preservationist told the paper of the constant temperature fluctuations. So who installed air conditioning in what is arguably the state’s most precious landmark?

READ: Here’s what archaeologists digging around the Alamo are hoping to find

That would be Hardy’s grandfather. Wallace Kerr of San Antonio’s Kerr Air Conditioning was hired in 1961 after the group managing the structure at the time decided the building could use a little cooling down. Kerr, who successfully completed the installation, actually had an ancestor who died at the Alamo — a fact that remains a source of familial pride, according to Hardy.

So is the damage brought by “55 years of artificial cooling” and “sort of” Kerr reversible? While there isn’t yet a sure answer, experts agree the first step is to get rid of the air conditioning. Or at least crank up the thermostat.

Until the damage is undone, Hardy, in his grandfather’s defense, asserts that Kerr “might have imagined that making the Alamo comfortable for summer tourists was what he was called to do for his country.”

Most who have experienced a summer day in San Antonio can understand the sense of duty.

Reader Comments 0

0 comments