The historic Nob Hill Motel on Route 66 in Albuquerque is being converted into an office complex, but its neon sign and distinctive appearance will remain intact.
The complex likely will be called the Nob Hill Court; the “Court” was part of the motel’s original name. Al Schwanke, a supervisor for the contractor for the project, said in an e-mail:
We were able to salvage most of the exterior walls and some of the roofs. All room access , plumbing. electric, etc. would not meet building code and had to be changed or replaced. The building was condemned by the city prior to our restoration.When looking at this project from the exterior it will resemble the original structure in most every way including doors, windows,color, stucco, etc. This is a very exciting project for me to be a part of since this restoration may allow this project to have a practical use, yet keeping the original look for many years to come.
Schwanke said the original neon sign will be retained and operating. Nob Hill Development Corp. is scheduled to take possession of the complex on July 1.
The motel had operated as a motel until about three years ago. Reopening it as a motel probably was not feasible, as the city’s Central Avenue has an oversupply of old motels. But adapting it for reuse is a good thing, and is encouraged by the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program if keeping the business as its original use is not doable.
Schwanke also said he is documenting the restoration of the motel in the form of a slide show.