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Albuquerque's Route 66 Attractions Page 4

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Page 4: Western Albuquerque

Albuquerque's Route 66 Attractions: All the historic places, classic cafés and diners, old movie theaters, and original hotels and motels along Albuquerque's historic Route 66. In this page Western Albuquerque and the old Spanish Colonial Town plus the mythical Nine Mile Hill. See our previous pages describing the Downtown district, Nob Hill and Eastern Albuquerque.

Albuquerque NM
 

 

Albuquerque's Attractions along US 66

List of US 66 Attractions in Albuquerque: East to West:

Western Albuquerque attractions

Old Spanish Town and Nine-Mile Hill

In this page we describe the classic Route 66 sights from east to west, in the Western part of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Our other pages cover the sights and attractions in the rest of Albuquerque:

Start in the Downtown part of Albuquerque and head west along Central Avenue:

Capri Motor Hotel

1213 Central Ave NW, Albuquerque

The Capri City Center Motor Hotel is still standing close to the old Colonial town, now named Downtown Inn.

Capri City Center Motor Hotel in a vintage 1950s postcard

Vintage 1950s postcard of the Capri City Center Motor Hotel on Route 66 in Albuquerque NM
A 1950s postcard of the Capri City Center Motor Hotel
Albuquerque, NM, Image

Almost unchanged but it is a pity it lost its lovely 60's neon sign:

The Capri City Center Motor Hotel - now Downtown Inn as it looks today

View of the Capri City Center Motor Hotel - now Downtown Inn  in Albuqerque NM
Present view of Capri City Center Motor Hotel - now Downtown Inn
Google
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

Horn Oil Co. and Motor Lodge

Listed in the National and State Register of Historic Places

1720 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque

The Historic Horn Oil Co. and Motor Lodge was built in 1946, and though modified, the old structure is still standing, now it is the "Country Club Plaza".

Horn Oil Co. and Motor Lodge in a vintage 1950s postcard

Vintage 1950s postcard of the Horn Oil Co. and Motor Lodge on Route 66 in Albuquerque NM
A 1950s postcard of the Horn Oil Co. and Motor Lodge
Albuquerque, NM, Image

The old Gas station and Motor Lodge is now a Shopping Mall, but the eastern portion (on the left side of the image below) was during the 1960s a "Gull Wing" Phillips 66 gas station, the "Acoma Phillips", which burned and was partly restored its three service bays have survived and are part of the building (This is a 1960s photo of the gas station).

The Horn Oil Co. and Motor Lodge as it looks today:

View of the Horn Oil Co. and Motor Lodge in Albuqerque NM
Present view of Horn Oil Co. and Motor Lodge
Google
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View
Sandia Theatre, Albuquerque Route 66

Sandia Theatre. Google. Click for larger image

Sandia Theatre

1816 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque

Built in 1946, Sandia Theatre has survived and can be seen as a classic theater of its time.

Turn north towards the old Colonial Town, park and stroll around the historic Plaza.

Historic Old Town of Albuquerque

Rio Grande Blvd NW and Central Ave. NW.

The Old Town of Albuquerque is the original site where the Spaniards founded the town in 1706. It spans about 10 blocks around the central Plaza which was the heart of the Spanish colonial town. The San Felipe de Neri historic church built in 1793 is located on its northern side.

This part of the city still looks like it did in the 1700s, with Pueblo-Spanish styled adobe buildings that have been converted into souvenir shops and restaurants. Enjoy its brick paths, hidden patios and adobe benches ("bancos").

More information at the www.albuquerqueoldtown.com

San Felipe de Neri Church

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

2005 N Plaza St NW, Albuquerque, NM.

Built in 1793, it is one of the oldest surviving buildings in the city. Below is the photograph I took in Sept. 2016:

Historic San Felipe de Neri Church

Historic San Felipe de Neri Church in Albuquerque, Route 66, New Mexico
Historic San Felipe de Neri Church, Albuquerque NM.

It replaced the original 1706 mission church, completed in 1719, whose original name was San Francisco Xavier, but the Duke of Albuquerque renamed it after King Phillip of Spain ("Felipe").

The building collapsed in 1792 due to heavy rain and the current church was erected the following year. Towers were built in 1861 and the school and convent were added between 1878 and 1881. See its Street View.

Buy some souvenirs or enjoy the scene and return to your car and Route 66:

Tower Court

Listed in the National and State Register of Historic Places

2210 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque

The Tower Court motel was built in 1946 and is now a private apartment complex. It has lost its emblematic "Tower" but retains its original layout and appearance:

Tower Court motel in a vintage postcard, Albuquerque, NM

Tower Court motel in a vintage postcard. Albuquerque NM. www.digitalcommonwealth.org.
Click for larger view

current appearance of Tower Court motel

Tower Court motel today, Google.
Click for larger view

El Don Motel

2220 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque

The El Don Motel proclaimed on its postcard: "Tubs and Showers. Tiled Baths. Free Radios. Air Conditioned. Wall-O-Matic Heat - Restaurants near. Just 3 blocks to the Historic Old Albuquerque Palaza. Less than 5 minutes to Heart of City. AAA Approved. Member of the Best Western Motels."

El Don Motel in a vintage 1950s postcard

Vintage 1950s postcard of the El Don Motel on Route 66 in Albuquerque NM
A 1950s postcard of the El Don Motel
Albuquerque, NM, Image

It's basic "U-shaped" layout has remained, and has also kept its iconic Route 66 sign of a neon cowboy riding a horse with a lasso in his hand. but a second floor was added to the eastern wing.

The El Don Motel as it looks today

View of the El Don Motel in Albuqerque NM
Present view of El Don Motel
Google
Click on image for Google Street View

Monterey Court

2402 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque

You can Book a Room in the Monterey Motel

The Monterey Court or Monterey Motel mentioned by Rittenhouse in his guidebook, has kept its classic Route 66 neon sign till this day. And is still operating as a motel.

Monterey Motel in a vintage 1950s postcard

Vintage 1950s postcard of the Monterey Motel on Route 66 in Albuquerque NM
A 1950s postcard of the Monterey Motel
Albuquerque, NM, Image

Except for its original and classic neon sign, the building has changed: gabled roofs crown what once was a pueblo-style motel with curved lines. The sign's color is now blue instead of its original red and the word "Court" was replaced with "Motel":

The Monterey Motel as it looks today

View of the Monterey Motel in Albuqerque NM
Present view of Monterey Motel
Google
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

Country Club Court

2411 Central Ave Nw, Albuquerque

The Country Club Court dates back to 1937 and it was one of the original motels on the new alignment west of Albuquerque. It too was mentioned by Rittenhouse. It has changed quite a lot, but is recognizeable:

Country Club Court postcard, Albuquerque, NM

Country Club Court, old postcard. www.66postcards.com
Click for larger image

Motel 21 used to be Country Club Court

Motel 21 was the Country Club Court. Google
Click for Street view

El Vado Auto Court Motel

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

2500 Central Ave. SW, Albuquerque, NM.

Opened by Daniel Murphy in 1937 to coincide with the new Laguna cut-off alignment of Route 66 which bypassed the historic Rio Puerco bridge and headed straight out of town along the new Rio Grande Bridge. The name "Vado" is the Spanish word for "ford". Rittenhouse mentioned it in his Guidebook.

It originally had 32 units and a filling station. It was built in Spanish Pueblo Revival style. Later a pool was added, the gas pumps were removed. It ceased operating in 2008.

El Vado Court Motel in a vintage 1950s postcard

Vintage 1950s postcard of the El Vado Court Motel on Route 66 in Albuquerque NM
A 1950s postcard of the El Vado Court Motel
Albuquerque, NM, Image

The buildings are still standing, fenced off and lonely:

The El Vado Court Motel as it looks today

View of the El Vado Court Motel in Albuqerque NM
Present view of El Vado Court Motel
Google
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

Beyond the Rio Grande

Nine Mile Hill

The road now crosses the Rio Grande River and heads west, which Rittenhouse described in 1946 as follows: "Many tourist courts line the highway along here. Almost at the edge of town, you begin to climb the long, steep grades out of the Rio Grande valley, and onto the plateau". It was the famous Nine Mile Hill, all the way to the Rio Puerco River.

Relict Motel Signs

4814 Central Ave. SW

As of Sept. 2016, these signs were still standing, alone, on the eastbound lanes. The old motel buildings had been razed but their signs remained:

There are two old motels facing each other on the 5600 block of Central Avenue West:

An Old Motel

5604 Central Ave NW, Albuquerque

The An Old Motel, no details regarding its former name. It has a linear lay out with two sets of units facing a central court. With gabled roofs. It is now used as apartments.

Another Old Motel

5609 Central Ave NW, Albuquerque

The Another Old Motel with a similar linear layout. The place is abandoned and has a "Pueblo" style architecture.

An old motel west of Albuquerque, NM

A former Route 66 motel. Google
Click for larger image

Another old motel west of Albuquerque, NM

This was a Route 66 motel. Google
Click for larger image

El Campo Tourist Court

Listed in the National and State Register of Historic Places

5800 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque

The El Campo Tourist Court (which would mean "The countryside" or "the field" in Spanish) was also known as El Compo, with a letter "o", which has no meaning in Spanish. It was built and operated by M. H. McGraw in 1939 and at that time was described as "modern tourist apartments, filling station, store and trailer facilities". Later during the 1970s Mrs. McGraw managed it.

El Campo Tourist Court in a vintage 1950s postcard

Vintage 1950s postcard of the El Campo Tourist Court on Route 66 in Albuquerque NM
A 1950s postcard of the El Campo Tourist Court
Albuquerque, NM, Image

It has been restored and is now a private apartment complex; the same building can be seen in both photos:

The El Campo Tourist Court as it looks today

View of the El Campo Tourist Court in Albuqerque NM
Present view of El Campo Tourist Court
Google
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

Americana motel

5908 Central Ave SW

The Americana Motel was once the Whiting Brothers Motel in Albuquerque. The company was established in 1926 by four brothers and it grew to have more than 100 gas stations from Texas to California as well as Motels, on Route 66 you can still see the Continental Divide NM Whiting Brothers Motel and Holbrook AZ Whiting Motel. The Americana's neon sign is actually the original Whiting Bros. sign with the "WB" shield removed.

Beside it, to the west is an old Whiting Gas Station Sign which now is faded with the paint peeling off, with the words"Trailers" and "Gas".

Americana motel west of Albuquerque, NM

Americana motel. Google
Click for larger image

Old Whiting Brothers motel west of Albuquerque, NM

Whiting Brothers motel. www.cardcow.com
Click for larger image

Siesta Court

6116 Central Ave SW

Built in 1946 when post-World War II travel grew substantially.

Siesta Court motel west of Albuquerque, NM

Siesta Court motel. Google
Click for larger image

Across the street from the Siesta Court is a kitschy Route 66 sign at Mac’s La Sierra:

Mac’s La Sierra Coffee Shop

6217 Central Ave NW

Mac's La Sierra Coffee Shop has an interesting sign with a steer on it.

sign with a steer on it at Mac’s La Sierra coffee shop, Albuquerque

Kitschy Route 66 sign: Mac’s La Sierra Coffee Shop.
Google. Click for street view

La Hacienda Camp

6214 Central Ave NSE, Albuquerque

The La Hacienda Camp dates back to 1947, the boom days for travel after WWII. Its postcard announced that it was "a bit of Old Mexico"; it had 21 rooms and a sunken garden (now gone).

It has dropped the "La" from its name and is now the Hacienda Motel, but the sign is almost the same and so are the buildings, with a "U" shaped layout around a central courtyard.

La Hacienda Camp in a vintage 1950s postcard

Vintage 1950s postcard of the La Hacienda Camp on Route 66 in Albuquerque NM
A 1950s postcard of the La Hacienda Camp
Albuquerque, NM, Image

The La Hacienda Camp is now the "Hacienda":

View of the former La Hacienda Camp in Albuqerque NM
Present view of "Hacienda Motel"
Google
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

This Probably was a Motel

6401 Central Ave NW.

The "L-shaped" building on the Northwest corner of 64th and Central Ave. seems to have been a motel at one time. Now it is an apartment complex. See its Street View. It is next to the US 66 Gateway Arch, and beside the famous Western View Diner & Steak Neon Sign at Western View Diner, Route 66

Neon Sign. Google. Click for street view.

Western View Diner & Steak

6411 Central Ave NW

It has been serving meals on Route 66 since 1949. Nice Neon sign.

To the west, across 65th Street, is another Relict Motel Sign from some now demolished motel Street View.

Adobe Manor Motel

Adobe Manor. Google. Click for Street View

Adobe Manor

7412 Central Ave SW

This old motel's neon sign is eye-catching and the ochre colored stucco units too.

Westward Ho Motel

7500 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque

The Westward Ho Motel was built in 1948. Don't miss its cactus-shaped neon sign.

Westward Ho Motel in a vintage 1950s postcard

Vintage 1950s postcard of the Westward Ho Motel on Route 66 in Albuquerque NM
A 1950s postcard of the Westward Ho Motel
Albuquerque, NM, Image

It has retained its original appearance and its neon sign:

The Westward Ho Motel as it looks today

View of the Westward Ho Motel in Albuqerque NM
Present view of Westward Ho Motel
Google
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

French Quarter Motel

9317 Central Ave. NW

The French Quarter Motel is still standing, with a nice neon sign too.

Old Gas Station

9400 Central Ave SW

Currently M and S, this is a 1940s gas station with five service bays and no canopy.

Americana motel west of Albuquerque, NM

French Quarter motel. Google
Click for larger image

Old gas station west of Albuquerque, NM

Old Gas Station now M&S. Google
Click for larger image

Grandview Motel

9700 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque

The Grandview Motel dates back to 1954 and is still operating as a motel.

Grandview Motel in a vintage 1950s postcard

Vintage 1950s postcard of the Grandview Motel on Route 66 in Albuquerque NM
A 1950s postcard of the Grandview Motel
Albuquerque, NM, Image

The motel has the same layout and neon sign (with a different color scheme) and plenty of trees:

The Grandview Motel as it looks today

View of the Grandview Motel in Albuqerque NM
Present view of Grandview Motel
Google
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

End of the Albuquerque Attractions Tour

From here, you can continue west along Route 66 to visit Suwanee, or head back into Albuquerque and enjoy your stay ther.

Sources

Jack DeVere Rittenhouse, (1946). A Guide Book to Highway 66.

Image Used as per Google Street View Image Api

Banner image: Dead Man's Curve, Laguna New Mexico by Perla Eichenblat.