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  • October 2009
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World Monuments Fund

Pop Hicks, Clinton, Oklahoma

Pop Hicks, Clinton, Oklahoma

The World Monuments Fund posts watch list of places in the built environment that are endangered from neglect. The Los Angeles Times suggested that Route 66 should be nominated as such a site.

Pop Hicks, a classic Route 66 restaurant in Clinton, Oklahoma, is long gone. It burned to the ground in 1999. The owner could not afford fire insurance and could not rebuild the business. This is a form of neglect.

The great Coral Courts is gone, razed because it was falling apart in spite of its renown on Route 66.

Coral Court Motel, St. Louis

Coral Court Motel, St. Louis

The Coral Court was on the National Register of Historic Places, but that didn’t save. The bottom line is economics, and not even those of us who have traveled 66 for years stay in these old motels.

The Shamrock, Sullivan, Missouri

The Shamrock, Sullivan, Missouri

It would be nice if places like the Shamrock could be turned into successful Bed and Breakfasts. The Shamrock already has a dining room.

Gardenway Motel, Grey Summit, Missouri

Gardenway Motel, Grey Summit, Missouri

The Gardenway is still in business, but few know, unless you have read Along Route 66, that it was named after Henry Shaw’s Gardenway, an attempt to plant Missouri trees along the highway between St. Louis and Grey Summit.

Trails End Motel, Springfield, Missouri

Trails End Motel, Springfield, Missouri

The Trails End is to Springfield as the Coral Court was to St. Louis. It is a classic architecture, practiced only in the Springfield area.

Route 66, Halltown, Missouri

Route 66, Halltown, Missouri

Ten years ago Halltown, and intact road town, was thriving as an antique center west of Springfield.

There are others. What is left out there? Could Route 66 be a viable World Monument site? I am open to suggestions.

One Response

  1. I stayed at a mom and pop motel in Tucumcari, NM a few years ago. In the evening, the owner came out and talked with a few of us Route 66 travelers. She basically said what you did, that most of the Route 66 fans stay in the chain hotels in town. She said the rest of the hotels/motels in town compete for what’s left over. Even with a decent room, good location and $21 rate folks tend to avoid the small joints. Yet folks whine about those very Route 66 places going downhill or out of business. I asked her what it would take to make her place a go and she said ‘only 4-5 more people a night on weekends’. That’s not much.

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