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Amarillo in Potter County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Polk Street Schools

 
 
Polk Street Schools Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, November 18, 2015
1. Polk Street Schools Marker
Inscription.  During the 20th century, Polk Street was home to three public schools. The first opened in 1900 to meet the needs of the rapidly-growing Amarillo community. Bounded by Polk, Tyler, 12th and 13th Streets, the Red Brick School house supplied space for 284 students; the property also had sheds for the horses and donkeys belonging to students coming from ranches. In 1911, a brick building was completed south of the Red Brick School at 1300 Polk Street; it was named Amarillo High School. In 1921, the Red Brick School was razed to make room for a new, larger Amarillo High School, which opened the next year. The 1300 Polk Street building became Central Junior High School; it was later renamed Elizabeth Nixson Junior High School in honor of a former principal.

In 1927, the empty space in Amarillo High School’s u-shape design was filled with a cafeteria, gymnasium and auditorium. Further additions were made in 1951 and 1952. In 1964, Nixson Junior High School was razed; other educational facilities were built on the site. Three years later, Amarillo High School integrated without major incident.

A 1970 fire destroyed the main building’s
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third floor and the auditorium, and damaged the rest of the structure. Students attended classes in usable rooms and in nearby churches until it was decided to rebuild the high school on Danbury Street. The school board sold the block to Amarillo College, and the building at 1200 Polk was razed. Today, other structures from Nixson Junior High and Amarillo High School are still used. Although the former school buildings on Polk Street are no longer employed in primary and secondary education, the schools’ legacy lies in the vital contributions of the former students in the community, state and nation.
 
Erected 2010 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 16290.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Education. A significant historical year for this entry is 1900.
 
Location. 35° 12.065′ N, 101° 50.316′ W. Marker is in Amarillo, Texas, in Potter County. Marker is on South Polk Street south of SW 12th Avenue, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Amarillo TX 79101, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Old First Baptist Church (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Polk Street United Methodist Church (about 700 feet away); The Bivins Home (about 800 feet away); Central Presbyterian Church
Polk Street Schools Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, November 18, 2015
2. Polk Street Schools Marker
(approx. 0.2 miles away); Louis H. Smith, Inc. Firestone Store (approx. 0.2 miles away); Santa Fe Building (approx. ¼ mile away); The Amarillo Story (approx. ¼ mile away); American Mammoths (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Amarillo.
 
Polk Street School image. Click for full size.
circa 1922
3. Polk Street School
Polk Street School image. Click for full size.
circa 1911
4. Polk Street School
Polk Street School image. Click for full size.
circa 1900
5. Polk Street School
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 9, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 15, 2015, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 568 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on December 15, 2015, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.

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Feb. 27, 2024