Ah progress, It seems like there's plenty of construction going on downtown, a new Potter County District Court building is going up and one of it's neighbors is on the way out too.

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Michael J. Rivera
Michael J. Rivera/TSM

The City of Amarillo is outgrowing it's city hall and repairs are needed to the current building which was built in 1966. Repairs don't come cheap and the price tag is hovering around $20-28 million bucks depending on who you ask. Some of the gripes are systems challenges with HVAC, IT wiring and ADA compliance. The current site also has no room for expansion since it's sandwiched between Hodgetown and The Civic Center. The do nothing option and keeping the building as is would be an additional $5.5 Million over the next two years according to a report.

The Amarillo Hardware Company Building Reborn

Michael J. Rivera
Michael J. Rivera/TSM

The second option comes with a few perks and City Council will be discussing those tonight. The Amarillo Hardware Company location on Grant, (seen here with at least one tenant who got locked out) offers quite a bit more room physically. The building was purchased along with a few neighboring properties on Johnson street for $4.75 Million dollars after a November bond proposition to expand the Civic Center didn't pass.

This diamond in the rough comes with twice the parking with the renovation of neighboring properties and the ability to offer a drive through for utility payments. The $31 million dollar renovation cost would no doubt give the city more space with a more state of the art building with a retro feel and could potentially lead to more development in the warehouse district.

So Who's Footing The Bill?

The city is looking to issue certificates of obligation to fund the project, which behave much like bonds but don't need voter approval. So technically you and me ultimately are gonna fund this. If we're on the hook for 30 million, Let's get our money's worth.

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.

The Abandoned St. Anthony's Hospital on Amarillo Boulevard

The 119-year-old abandoned hospital is a fascinating place for any who are lucky enough to be granted the chance to explore.

The sprawling building saw thousands of Amarillo's citizens inside its halls daily, all the the way until it was shuttered in 2001. But there are still incredible artifacts of the all-too-recent past tucked away in the nooks and crannies of the old St. Anthony.

The explorer who took these photographs gave the following information:

"Many rooms were left untouched, we found patient files, old prescriptions, a blood transfusion machine from the 60s, and microscopic slides of breast cancer from the 70s and 80s. I put one picture in here of some heart scans so you can see the dates and diagnosis of the patient, but marked out the patient’s names of course. During a time when mental illness was not understood, 76 exorcisms were documented to have been performed between 1909 and 1931."

Take a look inside the halls of the legendary abandoned St. Anthony's hospital

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