Today little of the original presidio remains standing; mostly lower wall sections and footings. The sides of the entrance gate and other large hand carved stones are also believed to be original elements. In 1937 the Texas Centennial Commission began a reconstruction of the presidio. Only part of the presidio was rebuilt, and unfortunately, most of the 1937 construction collapsed within a few years. The stones remaining in the area from that collapse were used to reconstruct the ruins of the historic perimeter walls and rebuilt portions of the 1937 work.
Comparing the original plan with the older reconstruction reveals some discrepancies, such as the notched or crenulated tower on the northwest bastion, which is not how the tower bastion was built in 1767. The 1937 reconstruction work mainly focused on the northwest corner, and did not necessarily strive for accuracy. The 2011 reconstruction is based on scholarly research and on-site archeological analysis, and for the first time visitors can get a sense of the actual size and layout of the entire presidio.
This photograph shows some of the participants in the May 8, 1937 dedication ceremony, which included a pageant portraying the destruction of Mission San Sabá. Contemporary efforts, supported by the Texas Historical Commission, will ensure that this piece of
Texas history is preserved, and its story accurately told.
(Upper Left Graphic Caption)
Two comparative presidio plans illustrated the size and position of the original 1757 presidio with the reconstruction presidio of 1937. The reconstruction is shown in heavy black lines. Image courtesy of Ivey, 1981
(Lower Left Image Caption)
The presidio shown after the 1937 partial reconstruction. Image courtesy of the National Park Service
(Right Image Caption)
Photo by N.H. Rose. Image courtesy of the Presidio San Sabá Corporation