Looking at the photo above, you may just see an old church, but what you may not know is the history of the church. Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, located at the northwest corner of S Houston and SE 12th street, began operations in 1926 and features an architectural influence suggestive of the classical revival style. Your first thought may be that this building or location has nothing to do with revitalization. But that thought couldn’t be further from the truth!
The word “Barrio” means neighborhood in Spanish and the Amarillo Barrio is comprised of approximately 950 acres. It is a mix of residential and commercial properties that runs east to west from Garfield to Ross/Osage Street and north to south from SE 2nd to SE 29th. It consists of two subdivisions, the Mirror Addition and the Glenwood Addition. 98% of the Mirror unit was platted in 1889 and the Glenwood unit was platted in 1907. Not only is the neighborhood well over 100 years old, it is also multicultural and multigenerational.
According to the City of Amarillo’s website, the goal of the City's Neighborhood Planning process is to assist neighborhoods with future planning and development needs by addressing the neighborhood’s goals and desires through the creation of a neighborhood plan. In March of 2017, the Barrio Neighborhood Plan underwent 13 months of planning by residents, community members, and the City of Amarillo Planning Department. The completed plan, approved by the City Council in April 2018, includes 19 goals and 36 strategies. The plan can be found online at www.amarillo.gov
Fourteen board members of the Barrio Neighborhood Planning Committee (BNPC) work collaboratively to implement the plan and currently have nine projects in motion.
One project is to develop a historical map featuring 27 sites of interest, churches and local businesses. Not only will this map be useful to local citizens, but it will serve as a guide to tourists. Each Amarillo neighborhood has its own vibe and the Barrio is no different. Locals and tourists can find culture, history, delicious restaurants, and distinctive shops in this east side neighborhood. The map will be available on our Facebook page in July 2019.
The historical map will also be used as a FUNdraiser where individuals, families and friends will have fun competing in an exciting game visiting historical sites. This event will help our community learn more about businesses and sites in the barrio while raising money for the decorative street lighting project on 10th Avenue.
Additional information about the historical sites will be featured in the future guest columns of this publication. If you would like to become involved with the BNPC, please join us at our next meeting scheduled for June 20 at 12 noon at the Wesley Community Center, 1615 South Roberts Street. Please follow us on Facebook @AmarilloBNP. You may also contact Teresa Kenedy, BNPC President, at email@example.com.