Wednesday, October 5, 2016

What Downtown's Eyesore Gets A New Owner?

A day or two ago I mentioned that Hoagie Jackson Led Me To Tour Eastside Wichita Falls Eyesore Infestations.

I posted that blogging on the Wichita Falls Rants & Raves Facebook page.

That posting generated a lot of feedback and page views.

Among the feedback was one feedbacker commenting about that which I had to say, ending said comment with "Can he mention Eyesore one more time?"

To which I replied "Eyesore" to almost universal amusement. Well, a few dozen likes, give or take a dozen or two.

So, what did my curious eyes see the very next day via the Wichita Falls Times News Record, as in this town's newspaper of record?

An article titled, as you see above, "Downtown eyesore gets a new owner".

I had made notice of this downtown eyesore the first time I walked around downtown Wichita Falls after going to the Saturday Farmer's Market. This particular downtown Wichita Falls eyesore is across the street from what seemed me to be another abandoned tall eyesore. A big blue building.

Subsequent to seeing the Big Blue building I learned it is being rehabilitated to its former glory as a local landmark.

And now the eyesore building across the street, known in its final iteration as the Century Plaza Hotel, is being remodeled into residential apartments.

Downtown Wichita Falls seems to be having some sort of renaissance.

Wichita Falls, like much of America, has gone through many boom and bust cycles.

Currently Wichita Falls appears to be heading into boom mode, recovering from the double whammy of the Great Recession and the Great Drought.

After I blogged about the motel eyesores I saw on Scott Avenue, and posted that blog on the Wichita Falls Rants & Rave Facebook page I learned a thing or two.

One thing I learned was the first eyesore motel I focused on was a Holiday Inn, with a popular restaurant.

I read that and wondered why a Holiday Inn would be located in such an isolated location, wondering the same about the other abandoned motels I saw on Scott Avenue.

And then the possible reason occurred to me, so I asked on the Rants & Raves page if Scott Avenue was the main entry from the east into Wichita Falls before the I-287 freeway was built.

Yes, was the answer.

With many locals having nostalgic feelings about that old entry to Wichita Falls, and who enjoy seeing the ruins as some sort of reminder of the past.

Those abandoned motels I saw on Sunday on Scott Avenue were not all of them. Turns out the old Century Plaza Hotel is also on Scott Avenue.

Knowing, now, that Scott Avenue used to be the main drag through town explains the other closed, rundown former businesses one sees on that road, like restaurants and bars which long ago saw better days.

I admit I am a nerd, and that I have always been a history buff, so this is being a pleasant experience for me, learning the history of this new town I am living in.

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