Amarillo Route 66
Route 66 is a very famous highway that was one of the first highway systems to grace the nation. It is also known as the Mother Road and Will Rogers Highway, as well as the Main Street of America. The road runs from Chicago and ends in Los Angeles, which shortened the traveling distance between the two opposite sitting states by 200 miles. Amarillo, TX, is one of the famed cities that sits along the highway. Today, the major historic section of Route 66 sits west of the central most part of the city and is a strip of road known as Sixth Street Historic District or Amarillo Route 66.
Businesses that would situate themselves along this major highway would prosper due to the traffic the roads would see because of travelers across the nation. The Sixth Street Historic District is still a hopping place to discover when in the city of Amarillo. There is an abundance of nostalgic stores and new ones looking to flourish and thrive. The Historic 6th on Route 66 Association is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization whose main goal is to preserve the district and keep businesses alive. The organization works primarily with its focus on Sixth Street but does collaborate with groups dedicated to historic preservation as well as Downtown Amarillo to expand across all of Route 66. The group can be joined by anyone and is made up of fans and vendors of Route 66.
The association focuses on driving business to the local area and getting to know the people who make it up so they can hear the concerns they may have and provide assistance. They aim to enhance people’s experiences with the road by putting up signs to direct people to the street, offering access to events held on the street, and maintaining the infrastructure of the area.
People looking to have their bodies tattooed can find a few locations on Sixth Street to get this done. There is also a multitude of eating places ranging from Mexican Cuisine to bars & grills where local motorcyclists gather. If you want to experience a little nostalgia, visit one of the district’s vintage antique shops and grab yourself a collectible. There are several vacant buildings available to rent for businesses who are looking for a classic feel.
The history of 6th Street in Amarillo is pretty exciting. Being the first paved and gravel highway in the town led to the expansion and development of the area into what it is today. The neighborhood surrounding it, San Jacinto Heights, was developed in 1909, and when Route 66 was constructed, it found itself smack dab in the middle. Located at the east end of the district is an antique shop by the name of The NAT Antiques. This building was first constructed in 1922 as a community swimming pool and was later turned into a dance hall. Early bands that graced the rock and roll community would travel to Amarillo to play at the NAT.
Route 66 was eventually re-routed to go through what is known today as Amarillo Boulevard in the 1950s. This caused an extreme amount of businesses to close as they were not experiencing as much interaction with the traveling public. The 1980s brought about a new interest in the Sixth Street District, and in the 1990s, many of the buildings and the area itself were named on the National Historic Register.
Read more on the area here.