This story remains a serious head-scratcher for me.
I’ll be glad to be proved wrong if and when the story concludes.
They have begun work on a 10-story eyesore in downtown Amarillo, Texas. The Barfield Building, which has gone through many fits and starts as it has decayed over the course of many years, is now in the first stages of a major makeover.
It will become a boutique hotel run by the Marriott company, which also operates a hotel down the street in the historic Fisk Building.
To be candid, I never though this project was possible. The Barfield, a once-proud structure on Sixth Avenue and Polk Street, has been shuttered while would-be developers have shuddered at the prospect of bringing it back to life.
The building’s former owner, Todd Harmon, sought over the years to get something done. He failed. Coury Hospitality is now the management partner and is handling the makeover as it proceeds.
My pal Dan Quandt, vice president of the Amarillo Convention and Visitors Council, told KFDA NewsChannel 10 that “We’ve been crying” for years for something good to happen to the Barfield. “It sadly went from being a proud lady to a kind of an eyesore and now they’re going to be redoing that.”
Actually, Dan, there’s no “kind of an eyesore” description needed. The building is a serious eyesore.
It’s going to carry the name of Barfield Marriott when it’s all done.
I no longer live in Amarillo, but my desire to see downtown Amarillo progress and evolve into something different and, hopefully, exciting hasn’t wavered. The Barfield project is a huge step forward for the city, which has granted serious tax credits and other financial incentives to help push this project forward.
Let us hope this task gets completed. I am hoping to be pleasantly surprised when they cut the ribbon and welcome the first guests into the new digs.
Then perhaps the city can turn its attention to another rotting structural hulk just a few blocks north. I refer to the Herring Hotel.
Might there be a brighter future in store there as well?