Route 66 News

El Garces restoration may begin in earnest

After many months of delays, it appears the restoration of the historic El Garces Hotel in Needles, Calif., will begin soon.

According to a story Monday in the Needles Desert Star, the City Council approved a $188,000 bid from a glass contractor to install windows as a part of the restoration’s second phase.

The newspaper reported:

The phase II project is designed to enclose the building and to complete enough of the building so it can be used as an intermodal transit facility. The project has been ongoing for years and has seen various setbacks.

Finally, the city council approved moving forward with the project with only the transportation portion so the nearly $5 million in grant money from the Federal Transit Administration could be used. Work is already being done to put in the civil package, which means addressing utility needs such as plumbing and electricity.

Some residents were concerned the windows wouldn’t be historically accurate. But a councilor said it was important to enclose the building so it can be used.

In February, the city took steps to remove lead from the building. It’s hoped the lead abatement will be finished by October.

El Garces opened in 1908 as a Harvey House, and the complex closed completely in 1988. Allan Affeldt, who guided the resurrection of La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Ariz., is doggedly pursuing the restoration of El Garces.


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