Someone told me today that the library downtown was built near the part of Amarillo that used to be home to the Bowery. Being curious, I decided to do a lot of digging through articles, essays, and even a book to see what they were talking about. I think I've got an answer.

What was Amarillo's Bowery? Basically, a lot of saloons and brothels; and it was insane.

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Hooch And Ladies Of The Night In Yellow City

One account that I came across regarding Amarillo's Bowery district was of a man who had ridden the train into town sometime in 1906. He got off at the depot, near the Bowery, and commented on what he saw.

A lot of old, wooden, unpainted buildings were what he saw. He claimed that close to "every other one" was a saloon. Apparently churches aren't all that Amarillo used to have on every street corner.

The Bowery was an apparently crazy district in town, close to the railroad, that catered to pretty much anyone that was in search of libation and entertainment. It wasn't always a good spirited party, though. The Bowery has its fair share of stories regarding murder, theft, and other various forms of nefarious behavior.

In fact, one guy supposedly drank himself to death after a guy offered to buy him all the whiskey he could drink. Guess he unfortunately found his limit.

The "Good Times" Weren't Meant To Last For The Bowery

In the late 1800s until the prohibition era, apparently the Bowery District in Amarillo was notorious. There are several accounts of people who came to Yellow City, during those years, and quickly left because of what was going on down in the district.

Supposedly, the Bowery was responsible, or at least partially, for Amarillo losing its bid for a college. It went to the less booze-friendly Canyon, TX.

At one point, Amarillo would go dry. It didn't last long, and the Bowery was back in business. Eventually, when prohibition began in 1911, the Bowery would just fade away.

Today, it's a far cry from its more notorious days.

LOOK: This "Amarillo Pictorial" is an Amazing Collection of Historical Photos!

Wow. Just wow.

Robbi McDaniel Rivers dug up this incredible magazine published in 1931. You'll find the many Amarillo buildings and landmarks that you know and love--they're brand new in these photos!


Downtown Amarillo Over The Years

Downtown Amarillo has seen an incredible metamorphosis. Take a look at the photos below to see just how much it's changed--you won't believe the difference.

Untouched by Time: The Historic Homes of Polk Street Then & Now

You know you've entered Amarillo's historic district once you hit the red brick roads of Center City. A unique reflection of past and present, Amarillo's historic homes seem to pose pristinely against the curb.

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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