The Classen Inn in Oklahoma City reopened three weeks ago after undergoing a $2 million face-lift that accentuates its Googie design and early 1960s roots.
The 17-room motel sits at 820 N. Classen Blvd. (map here), about a mile south of the 1926-1930 alignment of Route 66 on Classen.
According to The Oklahoman newspaper, owners Steve Mason and Aimee Ahpeatone declined suggestions to turn the once-troubled motel into apartments or offices. Instead, they wanted to restore it to its 1960s glory because it’s back in style with younger generations.
“This is a passion project,” Mason said. “It’s the only one like it. The motels on Lincoln Boulevard are gone. The motel that was across from Villa Teresa is gone. I don’t know how far you have to go to find a motel built in the 1960s like this, that was built in the era of Route 66 and before the interstate system.” […]
The rotting wood railings, the cracked paint and shaky stairways are all fixed up as is the overall facade. The design by architect Jeremy Gardner included adding a private upstairs balcony with the option to have adjoining rooms on the north end of the motel.
A furnished patio on the first floor was added including a window counter for serving drinks and snacks, as well as the option of using a hot dog roller.
The motel also has a Superette combined with the front desk that offers an extensive array of beers, wines and snacks, as well as a visiting lounge.
Each room represents an eclectic mix of 1960s Americana and oddities that in some ways reflects the crazy Wayne White vibes created for Pee Wee Herman shows and films.
The rooms also contain many pieces of art and specially made furnishings. And the original neon sign was restored.
Here is a video from two years ago that shows how much the property has been upgraded:
Rooms are going for about $110 a night, plus tax.
(Hat tip to Rhys Martin; an image of the Classen Inn in Oklahoma City via its website)