photo illustration (Anna Haley)
photo illustration

Anna Haley

Editorial: From trashy to classy

Why we should keep Texarkana beautiful

April 4, 2023

From the perspective of an outsider, Texarkana may seem like your average stereotypical small town, and in reality, it is. That said, we can’t deny the importance of keeping this little city alive and well and reviving it in any way possible. With our once thriving and lively downtown becoming a place of little life, that importance increases tenfold.  

Founded in 1873, Texarkana straddles the border of two states. A twin city with a once historic downtown, it has much more to offer than what meets the eye. 

For one, our iconic courthouse that lies right on the state line is known by many. Also, known for its intricate architecture, the Perot Theatre is used for numerous conventions and performances throughout the year. Our Ace of Clubs House also proves to be a hidden gem in the city. Serving as a museum themed like a deck of cards, it carries a rich history.

Our downtown has so many other buildings unique to the area; however, much of its history and once lively nature has been overshadowed. Restoring this area is paramount in making Texarkana a city known for its sites and architecture as opposed to crime. 

In other words, it is our utmost responsibility to show why Texarkana should be a destination point, not a rest stop. 

If we repair our beloved town, we can go back to the bustling city that we once were. Believe it or not, Texarkana used to be a place where people from all over came to visit. With it being the birthplace of the famous Scott Joplin and infamous Phantom Killer, it’s not hard to see why.

If and when we restore our downtown and attract tourists, we can use the money to develop our city even more. We have the potential to even develop it to a point where we are similar to Tyler, Texas: a small city with big city resources. They are able to have so many facilities because of events such as the annual Texas Rose Festival which pulls in sightseers. 

That being said, Texarkana can advertise its more relevant special attributes like it being amidst two states or even bringing back its past relevance and making a celebration out of it. We too, can attract many tourists. 

It can be said that Texarkana is a little boring. Our mall is dying, the skating rink closed and our restaurants are limited. Even those that live here have trouble staying occupied, making any visitors further out of the question. In upkeeping Texarkana, it can be made sure we don’t continue to live somewhere with nothing to do and in doing so increase its overall tourist attraction.

Most people go out of town to places like Dallas in order to have something fun to do, and it’s really a shame. People shouldn’t have to go out of their way to feel entertained. In restoring downtown and adding more things to do, we could amplify not only its historical relevance, but also its current significance.   

What remains the most important, however, regardless of tourist attractions, is ensuring that Texarkana is a safe and clean city. Living in a good environment is the most important aspect of having a good life and the largest pull factor when it comes to settling down for most. 

Texarkana can be a great place to raise America’s future, but that can only happen if there’s a Texarkana to raise the kids in. We need to make sure that this city will continue living and growing.  

The current restoration process of the Grim Hotel is a huge step in the right direction. By updating older buildings and even promoting community cleaning services, we can turn our town into an even more beautiful place for our citizens.

In creating a place attractive to not only those looking at staying here but also those that already live here, we can confirm the livelihood of our city for years to come. Just because Texarkana is small, doesn’t mean it can’t be great. 

Our city has the basic qualities needed to grow, and with a few tweaks, we can become even better. 

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