How Many Names Did Amarillo Blvd Have Before This One?
I recently came across an interesting news article about the naming of Amarillo Blvd. For me, Amarillo Blvd has always had its name. I know that Route 66 and "the Blvd" have a lot of shared history. I know that the Blvd is home to several pieces of Amarillo history.
What I didn't know, is that Amarillo Blvd is not the only name that stretch of road has had.
What Was Amarillo Blvd Before It Was Amarillo Blvd?
So, according to this news article from around 1963, you had NW and NE 8th. It was also referred to as Motel Row. You also had US 60-66; Route 66. Around the time that I-40 decided to come along, there was a debate over what to call this stretch of road inside of city limits.
Apparently, there were several suggestions and we all know which one the city finally decided was the best fit. One of the names that didn't get picked, pointed out by the article, was inspired by an astronaut.
Amarillo Blvd Was Almost Named John Glenn Blvd
According to the article, it was suggested at one time that the stretch of road in question be named after the famous astronaut John Glenn.
John Glenn was the third American to make it into space. He was the first American to orbit the Earth. In '62, Glenn made three laps around the Earth before coming back down. I'm no expert, but those are some pretty big accomplishments. Surely they would warrant being given a stretch of road in Texas...
Maybe, but not in Amarillo. The news article about the naming of Amarillo Blvd states that Commissioners snubbed the idea at the time. You were this close John, to having your own stretch of asphalt crossing through Amarillo, Texas.
Instead, they went with Amarillo Blvd and the rest is history.