Pictures of old Amarillo on Route 66

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I was googling for a restaurant sign in an old photo of Bob Wills' tour bus, the restaurant turned out to be the Old Tascosa in Amarillo's Herring Hotel. The Herring Hotel, like Tulsa's Mayo and Oklahoma City's Skirvin, is still standing but has been closed for over 30 years, waiting for someone to bring it back to life.

My search led me to this wonderful page of Amarillo postcards, photos, and news clippings, mainly from the 1960s. I've never been to Amarillo, but the pictures still managed to inspire some nostalgia, as I saw a number of places that were familiar from Tulsa's past. For example:

  • A Zuider Zee Restaurant -- Tulsa had one on the north service road of I-44, east of Memorial Drive.
  • Woolco, a department store that would anchor Amarillo's Western Plaza Mall in 1967, just like Tulsa's Woolco at the western end of Southroads Mall, two years later.
  • A Shamrock gas station (before the shamrock leaves became diamonds)
  • A Ramada Inn neon sign, with the innkeeper and his horn -- Tulsa's was on the south I-44 service road, west of Yale
  • T. G. & Y. (5¢ TO $1.00)
  • Furr's -- here it's always been a cafeteria; in Amarillo it was a grocery chain
  • A neocolonial Borden Milk plant, just like the one that used to stand on the southwest corner of 51st and Garnett
  • Plenty of roadside hotel chains along Route 66 -- Howard Johnson and Holiday Inn
  • Local motels with cool mid-century architecture and neon
  • Restaurants with Japanese-style architecture and faux Chinese food -- chop suey and chow mein -- like Tulsa's Pagoda

Here's another page of Amarillo pix with

  • a downtown much like ours once was
  • drive-in theaters and drive-in restaurants, including a Griff's Burger Bar (ours was on 21st up the hill from Sheridan)
  • a streamline deco bus depot
  • a downtown building with a lighted tower that showed the weather forecast
  • a Downtowner Motor Inn -- ours is still standing at 4th and Cheyenne
  • Polk Street -- the main drag -- all lit up at night

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1 Comments

dana turney said:

This is wonderful - thank you!

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 22, 2009 11:41 PM.

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