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What Arlington, Texas, looked like in the 1970s

At the beginning of the 1970s, the population of Arlington, Texas, was around 90,643. It was the time when Arlington began to develop as a tourist destination. The Turnpike Stadium, built in 1972, became Texas Stadium, home of the Texas Rangers. Arlington opened its first enclosed shopping mall, Six Flags Mall, in 1970. In the same year, Forum 303 Mall opened farther down the highway. Arlington’s downtown had almost vanished by 1972, but renewal efforts led by the Downtown Arlington Management Corporation have brought it back to life.

Here are some stunning vintage photos that will take you back to the 1970s in Arlington, Texas.

#5 Aerial view during construction of Seven Seas Marine Life Park in Arlington, Texas, 1972

#7 A Leonard’s Department Store that is part of the Forum 303 Mall in Arlington, 1974

#10 Ted Williams with Texas Rangers team members, 1972

#11 100 block West Main Street, Arlington, Texas, 1978

#12 Arlington Stadium, 1977.

Arlington Stadium, 1977.

View of Arlington Stadium and crowd during a Texas Rangers baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, The stadium served as the home for the Texas Rangers (MLB) from 1972 until 1993.

#13 Arlington Mayor Tom Vandergriff at Turnpike Stadium, Arlington, 1970

#17 The scoreboard at Arlington Stadium during WBAP’s Country Gold third anniversary event, 1973

#18 Dolly Parton performing at WBAP’s Country Gold 1974 anniversary event, 1974

Dolly Parton performing at WBAP's Country Gold 1974 anniversary event, 1974

Parton stands on stage and sings into a microphone while playing the guitar. She wears a green shirt and pants with sequin and jewel embellishments. Other individuals can be seen playing instruments on stage with her.

#19 Downtown Arlington, 1973. The First Baptist Church. There are other buildings, cars, and streets.

#20 Downtown Arlington with buildings, cars, streets, and power lines, 1973

Downtown Arlington with buildings, cars, streets, and power lines, 1973

The photo appears to have been taken from the roof of the First Baptist Church, facing NNW. The first intersection visible in the photo is S Center St. and E South St.

#21 Arlington High School Colts mascot, Little Arlie, 1974

#22 UTA’s Handicapped Student Association homecoming parade float. 1974

#23 University of Texas at Arlington’s Handicapped Student Association homecoming parade float. The parade was travelling northbound along Cooper Street in Arlington.

#24 Tom Vandergriff speaking at Texas Turnpike Authority and Texas Highway Commission meeting, 1976

#26 Aerial view of Arlington Stadium and parking lots, 1973

#27 University of Texas at Arlington sign, 1973

University of Texas at Arlington sign, 1973

A person can be seen sitting underneath the sign sitting. A row of shrubs can be seen under the sign as well.

#29 Downtown Arlington.1973. A bank is under construction. The photo appears to have been taken from the roof of the First Baptist Church, facing northeast.

#30 University of Texas at Arlington (U. T. A.) campus and surrounding area, 1970

#31 View of the crowd at Arlington Stadium for the Texas Rangers baseball team’s first home game in Arlington, 1972

#33 Four men from United Auto Workers (U. A. W.) Local 276 on strike in front of General Motors Assembly Plant, 1970

#34 Front entrance to the University of Texas at Arlington (U. T. A.) library building, 1972

#36 The Lamar High School Vikings students on small truck advertising City of Arlington, 1973

#37 The seating at Arlington Stadium during WBAP’s Country Gold third anniversary event, 1973

#38 Downtown Arlington, 1973

Downtown Arlington, 1973

The photo appears to have been taken from the roof of the First Baptist Church at the intersection of E Border St. and S Center St. The intersection visible in the photograph is E South St. and S Mesquite St.

#40 The architectural sketch for the J. C. Duncan Community Center in Vendergriff Park from 1972.

#41 Children volunteering for a national children’s poll for the 1972 presidential election, conducted by the “Hoot Owl” children’s newspaper in Arlington, tabulated at Six Flags Over Texas.

#44 Texas Rangers opening night at Arlington Stadium; Rangers vs. California Angels; players lined up for national anthem, 1972

#46 South side of University of Texas at Arlington (U. T. A.) Library building, 1972

#47 Hawaii Kai’s native dancers at Six Flags Over Texas, 1976

#49 Arlington, Texas Municipal Airport, 1978

Arlington, Texas Municipal Airport, 1978

The airport is at the intersection of Interstate 20 and South Collins Road; it is a reliever airport for Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field.

#51 Downtown Arlington being prepared for a demolition in 1972.

Downtown Arlington being prepared for a demolition in 1972.

It was taken from across an intersection. Among the buildings sectioned off are a pharmacy, Hutton Pianos and Organs, and Walter's Auto Supply. There is a truck by the buildings, and a car is on the road.

#52 “Hoot Owl” election at Six Flags Over Texas, 1972

#53 A building on fire a 4500 S. Cooper Street in Arlington, Texas, 1970

#54 University of Texas at Arlington’s homecoming parade, featuring a float with a design for “UTA – A ‘Pitcher’ of People” to reflect the diversity of people at the school.

#56 Dr. Wendell Nedderman with Linda Montgomery during homecoming activities.

Dr. Wendell Nedderman with Linda Montgomery during homecoming activities.

Newly appointed University of Texas at Arlington President Dr. Wendell Nedderman, right, posing with the UTA homecoming queen Linda Montgomery, 21, who was crowned at Arlington Stadium in halftime ceremonies during UTA's football game against West Texas State.

#57 Texas Rangers vs. California Angels baseball game at Arlington Stadium, April 1972.

#58 Turnpike Stadium construction; two-level press box, Arlington, Texas, 1970

#59 Texas Rangers opening night at Arlington Stadium; Texas Ranger owner Bob Short and Arlington Mayor Tom Vandergriff signing autographs, 1972

#61 UTA’s Architecture department’s “Plastic City” project, 1971

#62 Visitors to Seven Seas, children riding in turtle cars, Arlington, Texas, 1972

#63 Six Flags Over Texas, amusement park, Arlington, Texas, 1978

#65 Seven Seas, Arlington, Texas Tom Vandergriff at far left, 1972

#67 Aerial of U. T. A. campus looking north up Cooper Street, 1973

#68 Landscape crew replace damaged greenery at Six Flags Over Texas, 1970s

#69 Crisco fire at Greater Southwest area, Arlington, Texas, 1979

#72 An airview of University of Texas at Arlington (U. T. A.) looking south, 1973

#73 Seven Seas park, Arlington, Texas, on Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike near Six Flags Over Texas, 1971

#74 Opening day of Texas Rangers baseball with Arlington Mayor Tom Vandergriff waiting to throw the opening pitch, 1972

#77 Seven Seas amusement park, Arlington, Texas ship’s crew of Bona Venture. Seven Seas Marine Life Park was a marine mammal park, and animal theme park built and owned by the city of Arlington, Texas, 1975.

#78 Students at The University of Texas at Arlington gathered around before dropping an internal combustion engine into a shallow grave on campus for Earth Day, 1970

Students at The University of Texas at Arlington gathered around before dropping an internal combustion engine into a shallow grave on campus for Earth Day, 1970

Alpha Rho Chi, the UTA architecture fraternity, led the "funeral services" and its pledges wore surgical and gas masks as the engine was lowered into its grave and a live oak tree was then planted on top.

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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