Can We Talk About The “Modernization” Of Amarillo?
Not too long ago, I saw a thought-provoking question asked by the admin of a well-established Facebook group that serves as a place to share memories of Amarillo's days gone by.
At first, the answer seems pretty obvious, right?
Amarillo's trying to modernize, keep up with the changing times, and appeal to newer generations.
However, browsing the comments of a post like this, it's quite easy to see that there are a slew of nuanced perspectives that serve to answer such a question.
On one hand, there are many homes and buildings in Amarillo that are in pitiful condition. There are even some that can be termed an eyesore. But how did these buildings even reach this point?
Well, when property taxes go up for someone with an already meagre income, the decline is almost certain to happen.
For many, the blame can be laid on the problems that arise when homeowners move out of a residence and use it for rental income, rather than putting it on the market.
And they make a pretty good point, growth as a city for some in Amarillo will not always mean growth for everyone. As new places are built, and newer, younger generations begin to establish themselves here some older, and seemingly less desirable locations will inevitably be forgotten in one way or another.
Although Amarillo as a city needs to grow and do away with the old, should that always be the case? In the older regions of north Amarillo, poverty and crime may have rendered these parts "unhospitable" for new development in the eyes of some. But how much of that is under our city's control, has it become this way because of just the natural course of a city's growth, or could it be because of a lack of attention?
Is It Possible To Rehabilitate and Revitalize, Rather Than Modernize?
We've seen major rehabilitations of previously abandoned buildings such as the Barfield Hotel so it's not entirely impossible to make what was old new again. And with developments in the future such as the redevelopment of St.Anthony's hospital into a senior living community, we have proof that there is much in our town to work with in terms of making things new.
And of course, we should ask how this will affect Amarillo and its residents too, what cost will this come at for those living in this town, and are the resources used for these projects are needed more in other areas that will inevitably affect us all in some way, shape or form?
Amarillo as a town definitely is not a "has been" but what can we say we are now or what we will become in the future?
Downtown Amarillo Over The Years
Sixth Street Over The Years - WOW! What A Change!
Untouched by Time: The Historic Homes of Polk Street Then & Now
Look at How Amarillo's Old Route 66 Motels Looked Then & Now
Amarillo's Cursed Buildings – Historic Route 66, 2813 SW 6th