To test his suggestion, using measurements that were taken on site, from various HABS drawings, and those reported from that 1700's, a diagram was made showing the area seen above. This was later converted to a scale model so that different configurations could be tested with a scale model of the Alamo
HABS Photos ca. 1936
Photo ca. 1877 by Latourette showing facade of Espada prior to church being redone by Father Bouchu
In this picture, supposedly taken by Father Bouchu in the late 1890's, shows workmen sitting on a linear pile of rocks that are in the area of the current day short wall. Notice doorway in the side wall.
Due to poor quality of old print, I used a pencil to augment the definition. Nothing was changed.
Using that scale model of the Alamo it can be seen that, although it matches up well, it is not exact. One interesting fact is that the distance between the bell tower chapel and the transept at the Alamo is 38'3", which is the length of the original sacristy that was reported in a 1744 report.
Above is a suggestion of the size and orientation of the original church. By narrowing the body of the Alamo church by a few inches, the north nave wall sits right where the short wall runs. By enlarging the bell chapel by several feet, it lines up perfectly with where the rear foundations and the south wall of the expanded sacristy/current church
Choir loft that was removed in the early 1900's. Using the original corbels, it would likely be the same height as the original one that dictated the height of the current door.
It is likely that even though the above ground stones of the unfinished original church walls were removed and reused, it would have been unusual to remove the foundations. As the model shows, it appears that several of the original church foundations were "recycled" when later construction took place. The orientation of this original church would have been very close to that of Mission Concepcion which means that it would be possible for the same mid-August illumination to take place.
The two things we know about the original church at Espada in the mid 1740s are: 1) The foundations were completed and the walls were well along 2) The east facing sacristy, which was later expanded to be the current church was completed. The old sacristy facade is in exactly the same place today as it was in 1744. It's location and orientation are the basis of this paper.
The front door of the sacristy was low and off-set from the center so that it would lead into the transept of the original church. Jake Ivey, in his comprehensive study of the San Antonio Missions, Of Various Magnificence, suggested that the original church would have probably had a footprint of similar dimensions to the Alamo and went on to describe how it would have been laid out.
Speculative Location of Original Tello Designed Church at Espada
Workmen in the early 1930's working on those same walls. Above doorway has been replaced by a large buttress.