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.

The capital-outlays bill also contains at least $250,000 in improvements for Santa Rosa’s Blue Hole, which is a Route 66 attraction.


3 thoughts on “State may provide grant for Santa Rosa warehouse

  1. RT

    Unfortunately, completely inaccurate publicity on the part of Santa Rosa and their paper! 1st of all the state funding, as you noted, is subject to the Governor’s signature, which is still doubtful. 2nd the funding request is purposed for rehab of the Ilfeld Warehouse building ONLY, and has no state recognition or wording for any Route 66 Museum associated with it. 3rd, also as pointed out, Santa Rosa does not own the land, which complicates any proposal. And 4th, but definately not least, the $325K applied for, will most certainly not cover all the improvements necessary to open.

    We saw an additional $100K requested for Park Lake, but nothing for the Blue Hole???

    1. Ron Warnick Post author

      I see at least three improvement proposals for the Blue Hole on the state’s list, RT. One is the road leading to the Blue Hole, which may be somewhat peripheral. But there’s little doubt the Blue Hole needs a well-maintained road to get tourists there.

      Whether or not the state includes Route 66 in the Ilfeld proposal, there’s little doubt that’s what the city wants the space used for.

  2. DynoDave

    Just in time too…we were running out of museums on the Route!

    Cool looking old building. But is there no other community purpose for which this space can be used? I know I’ve commented on the over “museum-ing” of the Route before, so I won’t complain about it too much.

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