Barfield Building in Amarillo added to National Register of Historic Places

The long-closed Barfield Building in downtown Amarillo that will become a Marriott hotel recently was named to the National Register of Historic Places.

The listing was effective Jan. 11 but wasn’t known until last week’s email from the National Park Service that was delayed by the 35-day government shutdown.

On the National Register nomination form, the 10-story structure was listed as the Oliver-Eakle/Barfield Building, built in 1925. It stated:

While the first-floor storefronts have been removed, the remainder of the building exterior, including its brick masonry, cast stone ornamentation, and unusual austral windows remain intact and in good condition. Inside the building is largely shell space with the original partitions removed. An exception to this is partial corridors remaining on levels 9 and 10 which provide valuable evidence of the original interior materials. Original terrazzo office floors and porcelain mosaic corridor floors remain intact on levels 2 through 10. Despite the first-floor storefront alterations and loss of the majority of the building’s interior features, the building retains a high degree of integrity and remains an important and recognizable landmark in downtown Amarillo. […]

The Oliver-Eakle/Barfield Building at 600 S. Polk Street in downtown Amarillo, Texas was financed by prominent citizen and pioneer businesswoman Mrs. Melissa Dora Oliver-Eakle. Completed during the oil boom of the Texas Panhandle, the 10-story skyscraper was constructed in response to the rapidly-growing local economy and was designed to provide the city with high-quality office and retail space. Mrs. Oliver-Eakle had a profound impact on the city, and the OliverEakle/Barfield Building stands as one of her signature achievements as a real estate developer. One of several commercial buildings constructed during the short-lived economic boom, it stands out for the quality and refinement of its design.

A local media outlet learned in October that Tulsa-based Coury Hospitality, which also runs the historically significant Colcord Hotel in Oklahoma City and Ambassador Tulsa, filed a permit to begin $20 million in renovations. The Barfield Building had been closed for about 25 years.

Coury listed the Barfield under “works in progress” on its website and described it as such:

Currently known as the Barfield building, Coury Hospitality is the hotel management partner in this historic renovation. The building redevelopment is slated for a 109 room boutique hotel and will franchise with Marriott’s soft brand, Autograph Collection.

Architexas, an architectural services firm in Austin, will rehabilitate the building.

The building sits on Polk Street and Sixth Avenue, on Route 66.

(Vintage postcard image of the Barfield Building in Amarillo via the National Register nomination petition)

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