A nonprofit group that’s trying to spur Route 66 tourism in the Albuquerque region is raising funds to restore signs at a Whiting Brothers gas station in Moriarty, N.M. — the only one still operating.
According to a report in the Mountain View Telegraph, a member of RETRO-Relive the Route asked for money from the Moriarty City Council for the effort:
Pogue asked the council for a $5,000 appropriation from the Lodgers Tax fund in order to help Sal Lucero, who owns the Whiting Brothers station, refurbish two 60-year-old signs on the property.
The council voted to give the effort $2,000.
Pogue said that refurbishment of the two neon signs will cost about $15,400. She explained that a grant is available from the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program, but that would only fund half of the cost. Money from Lucero and donations total $2,700, which is why she was asking the city for help.
The Whiting Brothers station dates to 1964, and owner Sal Lucero has owned it since 1985. Zeon Signs in Albuquerque, which originally installed the signs, would do the renovations.
Whiting Brothers started in 1926 and boasted more than 100 gas stations and several motels along the American Southwest. The chain declined in the 1970s, mostly from stations being bypassed by the interstates. A ruins of long-closed Whiting Bros. stations still stand, but the one in Moriarty remains the lone operating business.