Route 66 News

State may provide grant for Santa Rosa warehouse

A photo illustration of the proposed Route 66 museum inside the Ilfeld-Johnson Warehouse in Santa Rosa, N.M.

The New Mexico Legislature was set to give $325,000 to help revitalize the historic Ilfeld Warehouse in downtown Santa Rosa and create a Route 66 museum there, according to the town’s newspaper.

The Guadalupe County Communicator, in its print edition, reported that the legislation would “set aside the funds toward creation of a Route 66 museum in the old railroad warehouse,” along with several other county projects.

Now owned by the City of Santa Rosa but sitting on railroad property, the building is being eyed for a transformation into a museum, with officials hoping it would help bring new life to the economically troubled downtown business district. […]

Historian Johnnie Meier, proprietor of the Classical Gas Museum in Embudo, N.M., is proposed leasing the Ilfeld, bring his vas collection of antique gas pumps and other vintage memorabilia to jump start a New Mexico Route 66 Museum modeled after other state museums along the old “Mother Road.”

One document on the Legislature’s website indicates only $150,000 for the Ilfeld Warehouse. However, that document is dated Feb. 10, and may not reflect later amendments to the proposal.

Both houses of the Legislature approved the capital-outlays package that contained the Ilfeld proposal. However, Gov. Susana Martinez vowed to veto any line item she deemed as “pork.” The governor has until March 7 to decide.

The city of Tucumcari, about 55 miles to the east, also is trying to woo Meier’s collection for its own Route 66 museum. Santa Rosa also applied for a National Scenic Byways grant to help fix up the warehouse.