By Cait Collins
I’m considering using a building on historic Route 66 in Amarillo in a new story. Sixth Street has a number of buildings that would fit the story, but just how far should I go in reinventing the building. I considered turning the Nat Ballroom into my heroin’s place of business. But that would mean totaling redoing the building into an artist’s studio. The old ballroom has a great history. Big names performed there in the early years. Soldiers would attend Saturday evening dances at the Nat. So would destroying the bandstand be a bit too much?
Perhaps it would be better to renovate an old house. Some of the two-storey homes could be remodeled to house a gallery, plus artist studios, a potter’s studio and display cases. Question is how much red tape would be involved in getting the Historical Society and the Route 66 Association to sign off on the revisions. What information is required to petition the various agencies for approval to alter historic places? I’m not sure I really want to know. Besides I’m only remodeling the place in a story. I’m not taking a sledge hammer to it.
I realize how much study I need to do before I can even start to select a location. About all I’ve figured out is I need a lot more information than I have right now in order to select a location and repurpose it. If I make a mistake, the folks who know the area would be quick to correct me. And do I really want to risk alienating a reader?