Amarillo’s First Airport Was In The Bivins Neighborhood
If you have ever travel along Julian Boulevard in the Bivins neighborhood of Amarillo, you will notice something very different. Julian maybe the only median separated, neighborhood road in the city. Sure you see medians on the highways and some major roadways, but Julian is a quite neighborhood street. Have you ever wondered why this street is so different than the other neighborhood streets in the city?
The answer is simple, but not one you may expect. Before it was named Julian Boulevard, it was known as Bivins Field. That's right, it was Amarillo's very first airport and runways. If you look at a map, you will notice North and South Julian are perpendicular to each other. That is because those two sections of the roadway make up the 2 cross runways.
The first reported landing of an aircraft in Amarillo happened in April of 1918. Two Army Signal Corps planes landed in a pasture located in the 500 block of N. Polk. They refueled at the corner of NE 4th and N. Polk, before taking off again. In 1919, the Panhandle Air Service and Transportation Company was formed and Bivins Field opened a year later in 1920. The project was partially financed by Amarillo resident Lee Bivins and included a $30,000, six plane hangar located near 15th and Crockett.
The airport did not stay in Bivins for long According to the Texas Air and Space Museum, by 1926 the area was being mapped out for a new residential area of the city and the airport would have to move. 12 horses along with heavy beams and rollers started to move the large hangar to an area 3 miles north of the city. In 1928, the field was renamed Bivins-English Field, when Harold English took over management.
The next time you travel down Julian Boulevard, try to picture yourself taxing down a busy runway. It's hard to imagine the neighborhood was ever anything more than beautiful Amarillo homes. It's really fascinating to see how much our city has grown and changed throughout the years.