The Big Yellow Eyesore On Buchanan Street Wasn’t Always One
Amarillo has a long, rich history. And there's numerous buildings and homes that tell the stories of that history.
There are some historic buildings in Amarillo that have held strong and true against the passage of Time--like The Nat Ballroom. There are some buildings that seemed doomed for demolition, until the right buyer came along--like the shocking revival of The Barfield. And then there are some historic, treasured buildings that are gone in the blink of an eye, reduced to rubble--like the beautiful green stone bank on Wolflin.
It's one of those 'sad but true' facts of life. And there is one historic home here in Amarillo that I find myself wondering which fate it shall meet. I don't have high hopes, I admit.
It's this one. Right at the corner on 1500 S. Buchanan. You've likely seen it if you've gotten Downtown by driving east on 15th street.
That old yellow derelict eyesore is the historical Jons-Danner-Gilvin House. And it's certainly seen better days. Driving by one would think, "man that house needs to be bulldozed."
But would you believe me if I told you that this pock-marked bando of a home is actually on the National Register of Historic Places? Not only that, it's one of just nine places in Potter County on such a register.
This house was built in 1907 by the oldest established architect in Amarillo at the time Otho G. Roquemore. Roquemore designed many buildings in the area including the Central Presbyterian Church, Potter County Courthouse, Oldham County Courthouse, and the Hartley County Courthouse just to name a few. He even designed his own home at 907 Tyler Street which no longer exists.
However, the Jons-Gilvin Home does. It earned its place on the register for its architectural significance and the value it holds in our historical records. The home itself, as designed by Roquemore, is a textbook of Classical Revival and Prairie School house style architecture.
And really, it was quite lovely just a few decades ago.
This picture was taken in 1975- the photo may be black and white, but wow!
While I can't immediately locate any photos of the inside, the few online discussions that mention the home include testimonials from old-timers that swear up and down the house was the fanciest thing they'd ever seen.
And here it is again in 1986, this time in color. The historical home was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. However, I can attest that it's been in its pitiful condition for the better part of a decade, at least.
Unfortunately, the plaque that hangs outside its door is about the only beautiful thing left about this house. Perhaps, there will be a twist of luck and an investor will take a special shine to the Jons-Gilver house and bring this beautiful place back to life. Just like the Barfield. Just like the Herring soon will be...
I can always hope...