There are several reasons to go downtown, and there are a lot of landmarks to see. Centennial Plaza, I recently discovered, is a bit of a hidden gem.

The Party That Was 100 Years In The Making, And Is Still Going

Centennial celebrations are always massive events. Amarillo celebrated being 100 years-young in 1987. As part of the celebration, we received Centennial Plaza.

Since then, it seems like Centennial Plaza has been somewhat forgotten. There is definitely a few areas that could use a little TLC.

That doesn't mean it isn't worth taking a minute to walk through it and see all there is to see.

Charlie Hardin

Rick Husband

I've passed by the Rick Husband statue several times, and I've never taken a moment to get up close to it. I was shocked at the level of detail once I finally did.

Even the smallest details were given plenty of attention. I stared at the laces on the boots for the longest time. The patches also stood out, and not just because they're full color.

It's all about the detail, and the artist did a fantastic job.

Charlie Hardin

The Wall Literally Made Of Art

Surrounding the Rick Husband statue is a wall that, from a distance, wouldn't do much to capture your attention. If you get closer, you see that it's more than just a wall with funny colored tiles.

Those tiles are all pieces of artwork. An inscription nearby credits the artwork to locals in the area, including children. It's interesting to walk along the wall and see all the different views of panhandle life.

Charlie Hardin

The Fountain And The Globe

The major centerpiece of the plaza, and arguably the most famous part of it, is the fountain that leads to a slowly revolving globe.

All around the edges of the fountain you can read of Amarillo's history, and the vision of the future (according to 1987 at least). It all leads to the globe.

Walk up to the globe, and you'll see it resting on a bed of flowing water. It slowly spins, unless you reach out and give it a little push. You can alter the speed and direction of the Earth's rotation with a touch of the hand.

There's something poetic in that; which I will leave to you to figure out.

Charlie Hardin

The Time Capsule

If you've ever looked into time capsules in Amarillo (just me?), you'll notice that the major time capsule is actually more than one. The time capsules of the helium monument are the most popular.

Which may be why it's hard to find info on this time capsule. It's there, according to the inscription. It will be opened in 2037, if we don't forget.

The time capsule supposedly holds "memorabilia" of the year-long centennial celebration, and is to be opened every 50 years. I suppose we'll have to wait to find out what's inside.

The next time you're downtown, and you have a moment to spare, take a look around Centennial Plaza for a few minutes.

The Downtown Art Of Amarillo Centennial Plaza

Centennial Plaza is an often overlooked jewel in downtown Amarillo. There are several unique highlights in this downtown fixture dedicated to Amarillo's first 100 years.

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.

Places to Take Pictures in Amarillo