Weatherford Democrat

Aledo ExtrA

June 5, 2014

Celebration planned for Bankhead anniversary

WEATHERFORD —

By BRIAN SMITH

Though about two years away, Historic Preservation Commission officials are in the planning stages for a celebration honoring the 100th Anniversary of Bankhead Highway.

Director of Planning and Development Craig Farmer told board members during a meeting last week the city had received a letter from the Texas Historical Commission wanting to bring some tourism experts to Weatherford, Big Spring and Mt. Pleasant to help make the anniversary of what is known as “The Father Road” a big event.

“TxDOT will be paying for the grant to bring the experts here, which probably won’t happen until next summer,” Farmer said. “We’re working on a letter from the city manager’s office expressing an interest to take part in this.”

Farmer said visits with the Parker County Heritage Society and Parker County Historical Commission are in the works to get everyone working on ideas for the celebration of the road which, when finished in 1916, connected Washington, D.C. with San Diego, California.

None of the ideas have been finalized yet but talk of having a parade down North Main Street with cars from each of the last 100 years and a potential car show are being discussed. Farmer said there is a possibility of each of the 10 streets along Bankhead having their street sign changed out with another that had Historic Bankhead Highway printed on it.

In other activity, progress on the city’s downtown action plan was given. Eleven items are being discussed after the public weighed in on what they would like to see downtown. Code amendments were adopted earlier this year.

An urban design study should be completed this fall, according to a staff report. Planning staff is working with the Urban Institute at the University of Texas-Arlington to develop a list of homes, businesses and areas that look historic.

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