Route 66 News

Boots Motel needs help with “Raze the Roof” project

A vintage postcard of the Boots Motel, when it had a flat roof.

The Boots Motel, a Route 66 landmark in Carthage, Mo., needs both volunteer and financial assistance in the coming weeks for its “Raze the Roof” effort.

The new owners want to remove the motel’s gabled roof so its original flat roof can be restored. More from a news release by Ron Hart of the Route 66 Chamber of Commerce:

The shingled pitch-roof was added in 1978 and needs to be removed to qualify the motel for placement on the National Register of Historic Places, and obtain additional preservation grants.  Last year, the National Park Service / Route 66 Corridor Grant Program awarded the owners a matching grant of $12,000 to help remove the newer roof and restore the original flat roof.  A local roofing company submitted a bid as required on the grant application; however, the motel’s owners do not have the funds to have the pitch roof removed.

A volunteer event titled the “Raze the Roof” project is scheduled for March 23-24, with a rain date of March 30-31.  Volunteers will be removing the roof sheathing on the two motel buildings so the contractor can immediately repair the flat roofs.  If this project is not completed soon thereafter, the grant may be rescinded, which is not a good thing. […]

I am seeking a total of eight experienced volunteer roofers to remove the shingles only, so they will need shingle-removal shovels.  Other volunteers will do the clean-up and take the removed shingles to the dumpster. This will need to happen on Saturday so the other volunteers can remove the sheathing and trusses by Sunday afternoon.

In exchange for their contribution towards this restoration-preservation project, shingle-removal workers will receive a free two-night stay at a time of their choosing. The Route 66 Chamber will also make the volunteers (and/or their employers) members of the Route 66 Chamber of Commerce and they will receive a Chamber certificate and a Certificate of Appreciation from The Boots Motel (volunteers will be listed on the websites “Volunteer Page“) and on several Facebook pages.  Breakfast, lunch and refreshments will be provided at no charge.

To raise the funds, Ed Klein’s Route 66 World site on Tuesday posted a PayPal link so contributions for the cause would be sent to [email protected]. Please select “Personal” and “Other” for your settings so the Boots is not charged a transaction fee, and remark that this is for the “Boots Roof Fund.”

Hart, who also is a property manager at the motel, reported that more than $600 has been raised so far.

Donations also can be mailed to:

Boots Motel Roof Fund
c/o Southwest Missouri Bank
P.O. Box 814
Carthage, MO. 64836-0814

Repairing the roof also would speed the renovation of the rest of the motel and nearly triple its current capacity. Just five rooms are available to overnight guests for now.

After a nearly 10-year hiatus, the Boots Motel reopened to overnight travelers in May 2012 after sisters Debye Harvey and her sister Priscilla Bledsaw bought the once-endangered property. The sisters plan to restore the landmark to its circa-1949 heyday, including a “radio in every room.”


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