The Sad Saga of the Abandoned Plunkett Place Apartments in Amarillo, Texas
Puckett Place is the last building you would expect to be abandoned. Sitting on a busy street, smack dab in the middle of the bustling medical district of southwest Amarillo, Texas, this apartment complex has been a looming and boarded up monolith for well over a decade.
Eyesore on Bell Street
"Tear it down."
"Lord knows why it hasn't been condemned yet! What a tragic eyesore."
"Gosh, they haven't gotten rid of that firetrap yet?"
Those are just a few of the choice words residents had about the abandoned Puckett Place apartments, left as comments on a recent Facebook post of photos taken by Ian Watson. A local artist whose paintings are reminiscent of Rothko, Watson has a keen eye for the staggering and derelict beauty that is carried by abandoned places, which is clearly evident in the photos I browsed through.
As I clicked through each photo of the time-worn apartment complex, I could almost hear the echoes of years past reverberating through the screen. Even through the debris and disrepair, I could tell that Puckett Place, located at 3447 Amherst Drive, had once been a lovely place. So what happened? How did this building, situated in one of the most affluent parts of town, end up so ravaged by time?
The Sudden and Mysterious Decline of Puckett Place
Curious as a cat, like many of us in media tend to be, I started digging into the past to see if I could get an idea of what Puckett Place's decline looked like.
"I lived there in 1979 as a newlywed," said one person on the Facebook thread. "They were the nicest and most expensive apartments in town."
So what happened?
Somewhere in the mid-1990s is where things changed, according to multiple people who stated they lived there or knew someone who did. My hypothesis, based on what I've gathered from others and fitting the clues dredged up from my internet-sleuthing, is that Puckett Place's downward spiral was a result of fall out from the American Housing Federation controversy.
Surprisingly, some of the reviews from residents in its final years are still available--and they're not good.
From what I can find, Puckett Place closed its doors somewhere between 2008 and 2010. Interestingly, the occupancy license was never revoked. Cars and construction workers have appeared in the parking lot, only to never return. As much as I dug and dug for solid answers as to why Puckett Place came to be as it is now, the murkier the waters became.
Will There Be A Glorious Revival for Puckett Place? Maybe.
What I did find in my sleuthing was something that confirmed what had been hinted at in Ian Watson's initial post: that Puckett Place is undergoing renovations.
I was skeptical at first, because the one thing I do remember is that there have been rumors abound of renovations that never materialized as early as 2015. All I ever knew as fact was that it was a haven for rowdy teenagers: one legendary incident is the arrest of 33 teenagers for underage drinking at a party on the already-abandoned premises in 2011.
Not only that, I knew that the City of Amarillo could not confirm just exactly who owned the property. Taxes hadn't been paid in years. You can imagine how furious local developers have been at being unable to get their hands on this prime cut of property.
However, several records show that an entity named AMG Amarillo LLC, based in Amarillo, has current ownership of Puckett Place. I even found, somewhere on the 4th page of Google's search results, the official website for Puckett Place; it proudly states that the complex is undergoing renovations and will be available to renters soon.
A Look Inside the Abandoned Puckett Place Apartments
The enigma of Puckett Place and the mysterious circumstances of its decline may very well become a thing of the past; yet another chapter of Amarillo's strange underbelly brought to a close. It may do us well to earmark its current state, so that we may compare it to grander things to come.
So, without further ado, I give you the abandoned Puckett Place Apartments.