By Teresa Kenedy, BNPC President, and Mary Bralley, BNPC Board member
Imagine traveling east on 10th Avenue as you leave Center City. You come to the underpass and see a colorful south wall mural of historical sites, which include Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Llano Cemetery, Power Church, Sanborn Elementary, Amarillo Wesley Community Center, and El Alamo Park sign. As you drive up to Arthur street, you see decorative lighting, trees in bloom, and handicapped accessible sidewalks. Heading west, you see the north mural wall, which portrays various Center City sites, such as the Santa Fe Depot, the Potter County Courthouse, the Paramount Building, Hodgetown, and a cattle drive. This was a dream that is turning into reality through an approved plan developed by the Barrio Neighborhood Planning Committee (BNPC) and the City of Amarillo.
A request for proposal (RFP) for this mural was prepared by the BNPC and submitted to the City of Amarillo Planning Department in September 2018. The RFP was sent to approximately 30 artists and posted on the City’s website. Three artists submitted their designs by the March 2019 deadline. The designs were reviewed by the BNPC and evaluated by the BNPC officers in April 2019 and the Wesley Community Center senior citizens, participants at a Town Hall meeting, and by the Oversight Committee in June 2019. Mr. Joey Martinez, from Lubbock, designed the winning murals and will complete these two historical murals this month.
The first edition Barrio Historical Map was created in 2019 to recognize 27 highly ranked historical sites inside of the Barrio and businesses located inside and outside of the Barrio neighborhood. This map contains logos and descriptions of 18 pre-selected businesses, names and addresses off 10 churches, and photos and descriptions of these historical sites. This colorful and creative map was designed by Mr. Shawn Kennedy, a local designer, artist, and teacher.