Archive for January, 2014|Monthly archive page

Route 66, Albuquerque

It’s America’s most recognized highway that doesn’t officially exist. Route 66 was decommissioned in segments from 1977-1985, leaving a slowly decaying, but much-loved jumble of quintessentially American images, a thin ribbon of now discontinuous asphalt stretching from Chicago to Los Angeles.

Route 66 passes through Albuquerque, New Mexico, along Central Avenue. It remains a busy commercial artery, with plenty of neon signs, wacky motels, and a wide slice of life. Since my first visit in 2005, much has been lost. A number of historic motels have been razed, others are fenced off and empty, others are barely hanging on as low-cost housing. And some are still well-restored motels. It’s still one of the best urban sections of Route 66, despite the recent changes.

Tewa Lodge, 5715 E. Central

Tewa Lodge (1946), 5715 Central Ave. NE

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Zia Lodge (1940), 4611 Central Ave. SE, demolished

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Aztec Motel (1931), 3821 Central Ave. NE, demolished

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DeAnza Motor Lodge (1939), 4301 Central Ave. NE

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Hiway House (1958), 3200 Central Ave. SE

Kimo Theater (1927), 423 Central Ave. NW

Kimo Theater (1927), 423 Central Ave. NW

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