Did you know that 218 West Broad dates back to 1874? The first construction at 218 West Broad was the Benefield Hotel, built by Captain J.M. Benefield, the first floor of which served as office space for many of Texarkana’s early businessmen.
After suffering many great fires, early city leaders passed an ordinance declaring that all future buildings be of brick construction around 1890. According to local historian Dr. Beverly Rowe, this dates the current structure at 218 West Broad to around 1910-1920, and no doubt these walls have seen many tenants in the past 100 years since.
Owner Taylor Barr chose this location to open The Beauty BARR following a dream that left her driving around town (8 months pregnant, no less) looking for a space to open her own salon. Starting in the Richmond Road area, Taylor parked and got out at each vacant space she came across, getting a feel for what it would be like to go to work there every day. As she drove from space to space, she eventually found herself downtown, and turning the corner from Main Street onto West Broad, she saw the exposed brick walls through the windows of 218 and fell in love.
“A lot of people care about downtown and want to see it come back,” Taylor said. “To come down here and open a business, that’s how we’re going to achieve it.”
While the original construction is no longer standing, today The Beauty BARR intends to preserve and celebrate the history of downtown Texarkana in our space at 218 West Broad Street.
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