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Old Posted Feb 5, 2014, 2:48 PM
Tyrone Shoes Tyrone Shoes is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 206

For nine months in the early 80's I lived in Brownwood as a student at Howard Payne Univ. Back then the downtown was thriving but in decline. There were two or three grocery stores located in the downtown area and even a nice shopping mall between Brownwood and its suburb Early. The failure not only hit downtown Brownwood but also the shopping mall, the Gibson's discount store, most if not all of the mom and pop establishments occurred when (dare I say) Walmart opened on the highway. The Walmart then moved to an even larger location that pretty much ended the quaintness of this town. Sure it hurt when Kohler closed their factory, the SantaFe railroad moved maintenance operations to Cleburne and the Army closed Camp Bowie (not in that order). This is not a new phenomena and has been chronicled in numerous other towns across Texas and the United States.
Brownwood does have a few things going for it. Located on a couple of major US highways and on the mainline Santa Fe rail it could become a distribution hub for west/central Texas. Agriculture is also a major player in the region as well as wind farms, and oil production. Things can turn around for Brownwood but I'm not sure if it will. Don't forget Underwood's BBQ//home of the best baked bread!
Oh and the 13 story building was the original Brown Hotel that closed in the late 1960's. Purchased by oil man Sid Richardson who donated it to Howard Payne University. Re-named Sid Richardson Hall it housed a men's dorm until the mid to late 1980's but was too expensive to operate and closed. I think it is on the market and would be a nice piece of investment property if anyone on the forum has a couple of bucks to spend.
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