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The history of North Beach is vital for its future

North Beach hasn't seen any significant development in decades.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — North Beach remains a vital tourist attraction for thousands of visitors every year. 

When you take a look back into the history of North Beach, some feel it's an essential part of Corpus Christi and its  potential for future growth.

A proposed $40 million canal system is in the works to take care of drainage and flooding issues that have plagued North Beach for years.

The canal system will be the first step in bringing significant development to what leaders describe as the gateway to the city.

A group that is looking to transform North Beach is also working on a documentary about its rich history.

North Beach hasn't seen any significant development in decades.

According to residents, to understand where we need to go with North Beach's future, you also have to take a step back to almost a century in the past.

North Beach's glory days have been captured as far back as the 1920's by photographer Doc McGregor.

"When you look at the old Doc McGregor pictures of the past and see all the people smiling and the kids having fun, swimming on North Beach. Everybody is walking around with ice cream and going on the Ferris wheels and roller coasters. It was an exciting time in our history," Peter Davidson said. 

Davidson hopes to bring excitement back to North Beach for a new generation.

Currently, the Texas State Aquarium and the U.S.S. Lexington bring in an estimated 800,000 visitors every year. The two pillars of tourism for the Coastal Bend are also surrounded by empty lots, run-down buildings and for sale signs, which is a distant shadow of the rich history. 

"These days we want to take the old history of North Beach and recreate it, with modern ideas, trying to stop the erosion of waves of the beaches," Davidson said. 

Many of those old photos of North Beach hang on the walls of a downtown office that has been dubbed the "war room."

The office in downtown Corpus Christi is filled with folks looking at redeveloping North Beach. A place where their battle plans are laid out in full display.

A documentary is in the works to highlight the history of North Beach, as well.

"North beach is going to have its glory that it used to have again," developer Jeff Blackard said. 

Blackard wants to be part of the solution.

'We're past what it could be.  We're at a point of 'it's going to be' in the next couple of years. All the things are in motion. We have to understand that it is happening," Blackard said. 

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