The historic Monterey Motel and its attached MOMO Lounge are expected to reopen Aug. 4 after extensive renovations and redesigns that bring the property back to its earlier roots, according to a local newspaper.
MOMO’s exterior transports the weary traveler along Route 66 into a distant era. When MOMO was first constructed, it had a flat roof and facia with neon lights. In the ’70s owners removed the parapet and added the asphalt to create a pitched roof. The sign as well as the windows are original, and Design Plus was able to obtain a National Park Services grant to refurbish them. Now the firm has added as many elements as possible from the ’70s in a purposeful attempt at restoration. The MOMO we see today was reconstructed based on the few photographs and postcards out there the firm was able to obtain. […]
Engineer states, “Our take on historic repurposing is to preserve the relevance of when it was built and how it was built.” […]
Engineer and her daughter, Sanchi Engineer, drove from Chicago to Albuquerque along Route 66, and Sanchi took photos along the way which are displayed in every room. Sanchi also designed macrame wall hangings in each room that demonstrate the interwovenness of all the elements of traveling on Route 66 as well as the design elements presented. The newly constructed back building also takes inspiration from the ’30s era by including block wood and metal fences. MOMO has maintained simple lines, punch windows and metal detail bands that add to its modern flare. It now has a more European style in terms of architecture that blends touches of the Southwest with clean Northern European-Scandinavian elements.
A perusal of Monterey’s website indicates rooms are available from $89 to $119 per night.
According to “The Route 66 Encyclopedia,” the Monterey Motel opened as the David Court in 1946. It was renamed Monterey Court by 1954.
Norman Bugg owned and operated the Monterey Motel for about 25 years. Miroslaw and Boguslawa Elencwajg later acquired the motel and renamed it Monterey Non-Smokers Motel.
The motel was sold in 2017 to Sundance Village Limited Partnership, the same group from Portland that owns the revived El Vado Motel. The group reverted Monterey Non-Smokers Motel to its Monterey Motel name.
(Image of the Monterey Motel in Albuquerque in January via Facebook)