Route 66 News

An urgent message from Albuquerque

Here it is, in full:

Greetings:

El Vado Motel is back on the Albuquerque Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission‘s agenda in two weeks. If you support preservation of this historic Route 66 landmark, know that its designation as a City of Albuquerque Landmark is again at stake, along with its very existence. Two related questions are at issue: 1) Should the El Vado be designated a City Landmark? and 2) Should the owner’s request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to demolish it be approved?

Issue 1 — The El Vado was designated a City Landmark in early 2006 by the City Council, but on appeal by the owner, that designation was reversed by a court and must be taken up again by the Landmarks Commission. The buildings remain suitable for preservation and easily qualify as a City Landmark under the City’s designation criteria. However, the economic impact of the landmark designation must be considered by the Commission and will be presented to them.

Issue 2 — Earlier this year, the Commission denied the owner’s application for a Certificate of Appropriateness to demolish, but this decision too was appealed and the application remanded to the Commission for further deliberation.

I’m writing you because the Commission’s decision is to be made in public with public testimony, written and spoken. If you are inclined to write or appear and voice your support for city landmark designation and the degree of protection that comes with that designation, please do so.

Here’s how:

Written: E-mail or write a letter to Charles Price, Chairman, and Members, Albuquerque Landmarks and Urban Commission, c/o Maryellen Hennessy, City Planning Department, P.O. Box 1293, Albuquerque NM 87103, by November 5th if possible. [Editor’s note: Maryellen Hennessy’s e-mail is [email protected]]

Spoken: If you live near enough to attend the Commission’s hearing, please come and voice your support — it’s especially effective. The hearing time and place are as follows — 3 p.m. Wednesday, 14 November, Basement Hearing Room, 600 Second Street NW (corner of Roma and 2nd, a block south of Lomas).

Questions? Let me know at 505-924-3342 or reply to this message.

Thanks very much,

Ed Boles
Historic Preservation Planner
City of Albuquerque
[email protected]

P.S.: Thanks for all your support to date. I’m optimistic about preserving the El Vado and seeing it back in service.

This is what we’re trying to save:

You heard the man. Get writing.

7 thoughts on “An urgent message from Albuquerque

  1. BOB MILLER

    mY VOTE IS TO SAVE THE HERITAGE SO THOSE OF US WHO HAVE HEARD THE WORD CAN ACTUALLY GET TO SEE IT wE HAVE PLANNED FOR 5 YEARS TO GET THIS TRIP AND GOING IN MAY 08 DON’T LET THE NEW RUIN HISTORY

  2. Kathy

    I hate to see another Albuquerque landmark fade. Perhaps we should consider erecting a sign museum like Las Vegas does to preserve a part of the hotel’s history.

  3. Steven Varner

    My letter is sent:

    To: Charles Price, Chairman, and Members, Albuquerque Landmarks and Urban Commission

    From: Steven Varner, educator; board director California Historic U.S. 80 Corporation; author americanroads.us and ushighway66.com.

    Dear Mr. Price and member of the commission,
    As you are no doubt aware, Route 66 is a huge tourist draw for the city of Albuquerque. Each year many thousands of people travel all or part of the Route. I myself drove through the city twice in one vacation following both the older and the later path of Route 66 in my journey to and from Chicago. Besides the great barbecue places and your city’s amazing neon displays, one of the “must sees” is the El Vado. I have traveled and documented a great many old U.S. highways and their attractions, and I can tell you that vintage motor courts with garages like the El Vado are becoming an endangered species. Motor courts like the Coral Court in St. Louis are gone now, and sorely missed. We can never get them back once gone. The El Vado needs to be preserved and renovated, not torn down for yet another strip mall or apartment complex. These will not bring tourists to your city. Motels like the Wigwam Motel in San Bernardino and the Blue Swallow in Tucumcari have new life from old road nostalgia tourism. If you renovate it, we will come.

    Steven Varner
    Escondido, CA

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