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Wish to Purchase a West Texas Ghost City? Now’s Your Probability. – Texas Month-to-month

Wish to Purchase a West Texas Ghost City? Now’s Your Probability. – Texas Month-to-month

2023-05-26 07:44:22

Lobo, Texas, has gone by extra transformations than Madonna. Within the 1850s this lonely patch of West Texas, roughly midway between Van Horn and Valentine on U.S. 90, was just a few land on high of the not too long ago found Van Horn Wells, the one water supply in a hundred-mile radius. Within the 1860s it was little greater than a cease on the San Antonio–San Diego mail route, and within the Eighteen Eighties it was a spot the place steam locomotives may refill their water tanks on their journey out to far West Texas. Lobo lastly acquired a put up workplace in 1907, and for many years within the mid-twentieth century it was a hub for the area’s thriving cotton farming group, although Lobo’s inhabitants by no means surpassed 100. Within the Eighties the aquifer was nearly pumped dry, and by 1991 Lobo was a ghost city. It spent the following decade fully empty, its remaining buildings—a gasoline station, a motel, the grocery retailer, and some deserted homes—withering away below the tough West Texas winds, till a handful of artists from Frankfurt, Germany, determined to purchase it and make it their very own. 

“One in every of my associates drove by it in 1999, so [two years later, in 2001] we pooled our cash and acquired the city,” recollects Alexander Bardorff, certainly one of Lobo’s Frankfurter homeowners, and the one one of many group who lives in america (he at the moment resides in Tucson, Arizona). Bardorff declined to say how a lot the group paid. The Germans fastened up Lobo as greatest they might, digging new wells, putting in a bathhouse, and giving the remaining buildings new roofs and home windows. 

For twenty years these bohemians used Lobo as a technique to get away from all of it, internet hosting music and movie festivals and welcoming artists from everywhere in the world. However since no one lived on the property year-round, there was all the time quite a lot of maintenance. “You come again after a yr and issues have been destroyed, after which you must begin over once more,” recollects Bardorff. The Germans have been additionally affected by the identical fear that ails many a Texan landowner: are we going to expire of water this yr? When borders have been closed through the pandemic, Bardorff was the one proprietor who may even hope to go to. As time handed, the property turned increasingly more troublesome to take care of. “I’ll be seventy years previous in a month, and all my different associates are in Germany, so we’re simply operating out of power,” says Bardorff. Which implies the ghost city is able to undergo its subsequent nice transformation, and any certainly one of us may very well be the one to shepherd Lobo by it. 

Lobo, Texas is for sale
Buildings in Lobo.Alexander Bardorff

The Germans are able to promote, they usually’ve arrange a useful informational website (which doesn’t embrace an asking worth). Bardorff additionally encourages all events to e mail him at [email protected]. The Frankfurters don’t want to promote to simply anybody. They know the world has not too long ago been experiencing one thing of a growth, due to the rising reputation of Marfa, which is about sixty miles to the southeast, and Van Horn, fifteen miles to Lobo’s north, the city that homes Blue Origin’s launch website. “We don’t wish to promote Lobo simply to somebody for the water rights, or as grazing land,” Bardorff says. The Frankfurters bought Lobo with a imaginative and prescient, they usually need its subsequent proprietor or homeowners to be equally quixotic. “We’re not simply making an attempt to make a revenue. We wish to discover a group of folks that wish to do one thing fascinating on the market. Not essentially what we did, however some concept.”

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To entice the correct of purchaser, Bardorff and his fellow homeowners are internet hosting one other occasion out in Lobo throughout Memorial Day weekend. They invite any and all to return out and grasp, even when you have no real interest in shopping for the property. “They will camp totally free. They will use the bathhouse. Simply take pleasure in being out within the desert, benefit from the environment, benefit from the solitude,” Bardorff says. He made some extent to inform me if any bands are excited by enjoying he’ll be bringing “a twelve-channel PA with screens” down from Tucson. “All they should do is plug in,” he says. 

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