The historic and restored neon sign for De Anza Motor Lodge in Albuquerque was relighted during a ceremony Sunday evening.
Here’s a countdown video of the relighting from the motel’s Facebook page:
Here are more images Sunday evening from the New Mexico Route 66 Association:
A few days ago, the Albuquerque Journal published a story about the motel’s history and redevelopment. Here’s what’s going on there now:
The rest of the property was demolished and rebuilt as a collection of two-story dwellings. The rent at the apartments, which include studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom floor plans, ranges from $1,000 to $2,000 per month.
In the middle of the complex is an entertainment center, which will be nicknamed “The Church” after a former caretaker on the property. The facility contains space for a coffee shop, as well as a bocce court and other games. A basement area, accessible via an elevator, contains Zuni relics preserved from the previous iteration of the De Anza. As an homage to Wallace, who gave out fresh peaches to motor lodge guests, the campus will also include a new grove of peach trees, donated by Zuni Pueblo members.
For comparison’s sake, here’s a video from 1994 of De Anza’s sign at night, along with the motel’s interior. The motel closed not long after the video was shot.
Charles Wallace, a Zuni trader and Indian art collector, built De Anza Motor Lodge in 1939. The city bought the closed property in 2003, and it needed three tries before it could find a redeveloper with the proper financing to begin the project.
(Screen-capture image from video of the restored De Anza Motor Lodge neon sign in Albuquerque)