In case you aren't from the area, or you're just too young to know, there's a building at the intersection of 5th and Bowie in Amarillo that has a lot of history to it. Not only was it once the Potter County Courthouse, but it was also the Texas Highway Department building.

It's also being demolished.

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The Former Potter County Courthouse Being Demolished

The building itself has sat abandoned for sometime. Before it's current derelict state, it was the Potter County Courthouse, and it was an interesting piece of architecture.

Sarah Clark/TSM
Sarah Clark/TSM

Construction of the building was finished in, get this, 1896.

What I find fascinating about this building, is that it's the third Potter County Courthouse. It served that purpose until 1902. Funny thing about Potter County is that it has a way of really "going through" courthouses. Somehow, this one survived the fate of the other courthouses.

Until now.

Yes, it appears that the fate of all previous courthouses has finally come for this one. It will now be relegated to memory.

Some Chalk It Up To The Price Of Progress; Others Are Furious

The building has sat empty for a long time. Busted windows, boards, and graffiti are what it is know for nowadays. It's unfortunate, but it's reality.

Some have mentioned how nice it would have been for the City, instead of letting this building go derelict and then demolishing it, to fix it up. Some have said how nice it would be for this building to be used as a part of the future, instead of being destroyed to make way for it.

Points that I completely understand. History is important. There is, however, more to it than that. It takes a lot to restore a building that is over 100 years old, and has sat empty for such a long time. I imagine there would be a lot of Facebook experts furious over tax payer money being used to pay for that project.

Sarah Clark?TSM
Sarah Clark?TSM

Also, where was the anger while it sat vacant and was vandalized? Where were the people organizing in protest, beseeching the City to do something?

I hate seeing things with historic significance being destroyed, but that building's life had ended long ago.

Maybe next time, if you do care, stick up for the history before it's too late. Otherwise, it's just the price of progress.

The Price Of Progress: Historic Potter County Courthouse Demolished

As the city leads the way in progress and grows, there is always a cost. Some of our historical buildings have fallen to the wayside. After years of decay and neglect, the only feasible answer tends to be demolition.

And that's what the fate of the old Potter County courthouse seems to be. Demolition of the historic building began February 15, 2023.

Whether the building would have been better served by restoration is an argument for another day. But in any case, it's always sad to see a piece of history be torn down.

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These large, thoughtfully designed historic homes are part of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Amarillo. But most residents will agree that nothing quite tops the staggering royal beauty of the grand homes of Polk Street. Built by Amarillo's founding fathers, the looming estates of South Polk are a sight to behold.

Check out these stunning comparison photos that show how these gorgeous structures have remained nearly untouched by time.

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