My curiosity over the possible future of a building where I once worked is beginning to produce some potential answers. I am getting a nice buzz about what I am hearing.
The Amarillo Globe-News building on the corner of Ninth Avenue and Harrison Street now belongs to a new owner. It is a company that makes petroleum-based lubricants.
I am curious about the fate of an inscription on the Harrison Street side of the building. It reads: “A newspaper can be forgiven for lack of wisdom but never for lack of courage.” The iconic message is attributed to the late Gene Howe, publisher of the Globe-News.
I want the inscription preserved forever. I learned today from a longtime friend and a former colleague at the newspaper that the owner of the building is interested in keeping it, too.
My friend believes the engraved wisdom will remain on the side of the building and that the new owner of the building will seek some sort of historical grant to preserve the exterior appearance of the building.
That means Mr. Howe’s wisdom will remain where it has been for decades.
The owners have uncovered a lot of material left behind when the Globe-News staff vacated the building a few years ago. He told me of the discovery of the Pulitzer Prize medal the paper won in 1961 for its uncovering of corruption in county government. He mentioned old newspaper articles and handwritten notes on them from the late T. Boone Pickens, who criticized the publisher of the paper, Garet von Netzer, over the tone of the articles the paper printed … presumably about Pickens!
This is all valuable stuff, man!
My hope now is that the building will be refitted to accommodate the offices of the new lubricant-maker but will retain the personality that made it such an iconic structure in Amarillo.
To my way of thinking, it starts with Gene Howe’s wise words.