Looking for my FIRST preservation project on Route 66 in AZ…

 Arizona, Daily  Comments Off on Looking for my FIRST preservation project on Route 66 in AZ…
Aug 192012
 




 

OK – I have done several projects on the route, including Illinois, New Mexico, and California. I live and work and enjoy Arizona, so I think it is time I ‘keep it close to home’ for my next project.

I actually have (4) in AZ I have my hands in:
The first is an old Richfield Gas Station in Winslow.
The second is the famous Meteor City Trading Post.
The third is a historic sign for a restaurant / motel located on Route 66, in Arizona.
The fourth is, well, a gas station in Tucumcari NM – so I guess that one really wouldn’t count!!

Richfield Gas Station – Winslow AZ

This is an interesting project for me. For the past year, I actually tried to BUY this gas station for my own and restore it back to it’s former glory, and then (one day) maybe lease it out as a gift shop or a little sandwich place for tourists. This would have been one of the ONLY restored Richfield Gas Stations on the route, and it would have been a gem! While going back and forth with it’s current owner (mind you, for almost a year!) I was doing massive research on all things Richfield. This included researching what the building looked like when it first opened, finding old photos, and figuring out what brands this station would have carried (this way I could have figured out which signs to put on the exterior of the building). So it was getting down to the wire and the owner decided to keep it! I was blown away! I felt if I lost one of my children at the mall for a minute as I tried to get everything ready to be a ‘proud owner of American history’ – but alas, it was not meant to be.
I sucked it up and through a few emails we continued to talk and one day, he told me his plans with the building, to ‘bring it back to the way it looked like in the 30’s and possibly run a business out of it’… Now mind you, I NEVER told him my plans – as far as he was concerned – I was just ‘some guy’ who wanted to buy the old building – nothing more. It felt like a weight was lifted off my chest as I knew someone had the same plans I did for the building. With that, I met up with him and downloaded ALL my research to his hard drive as a ‘helping hand’ on how to guide him to preserving this gas station.
Now, I am willing to offer to help him – as long as he will let me…


Meteor City Trading Post – Meteor City AZ

This one came to me via a converstation with Roger Naylor – co-author of ‘Arizona Kicks on Route 66’ – while on a phone call one day.
We were talking about preservation work and how he thought it would be ‘great’ to partake in a project –  as he did not know or want to ‘spearhead’ one, but he was more than willing to lend a helping hand.
We were talking about different sites on Route 66 in Arizona and he mentioned he spoke to the owners of the trading post and they were wanting to repaint their ‘World’s Longest Route 66 Map’ as the elements have taken a toll on it. I told him I would stop in on my (many) trips back and forth to Holbrook and see what they are looking to do. Well, I did as promised and found the owner of the trading post, and she pretty much did not want to believe some ‘stranger’ stops in offering a ‘friendly helping hand’ and help them fix something which tens of thousands of travelers stop and look at. As we went outside to tour the map, she was pointing out the damage done by the winds (note: the wind gusts get up to 40-60MPH in the open desert, and when you have something that big sitting there unprotected, it takes a beating). We talked about it being painted some time ago with the direction of Hampton Inns – but she said it was time for to repair the wood and repaint the map. As we walked around the property, she mentioned to me they still had the ORIGINAL trading post building, built in 1932(ish) and it was covered up by fencing. She then mentioned ‘everyone knows it is here and wants to see it and take pictures, but we do not know how to open it up to the public.’ So the lightbuld goes off. I told her to close up the front window and make sure the front door is secure and then remove and realign the wood fencing to INCLUDE the front of the historic original trading post. She loved the idea! Then out of the corner of my eye, I see two painting on the fence and ask her about them. She said ‘oh, Bob Waldmire painted those…’ Naturally, I replied “who knows that?!? Why isn’t there a sign or plaque letting the travelers know this?!?”
So there seems to be THREE projects at this site, all which are just as valuable as the next.


Historic Motel/Restaurant sign – somewhere on Route 66 in AZ

This one we all know and love BUT I need to check with the current owner to see what his/her plans are. He/she might already be working on something as I have seen work done on a portion of it, but the entire sign needs to be redone to show off its grandeur!
This one I will have to get back to you on, but I would LOVE to have the opportunity to work on this one!


Gas Station #10 – Tucumcari NM
OK, this one isn’t in Arizona and this one is pretty much planned with or without me there, but I figured if the timing was right, it is the least I can do to not only help out Tucumcari (again) but to help Mr. Rich Talley for his (several) trips to Needles to criticize me (I mean) help me with not only the 66 Motel sign restoration, but being there with the TEXACO and UNION gas stations before we went to Victorville for the fest.

I believe this should be enough to last me the rest of the year! Although in high country (northern Arizona) it does snow and get really cold, and all of these seem to be on the same ‘belt line’ – I might have to pick only two or three at the most – leaving one or so until next year…

Let me know what you think…

It begins! The fundraiser for the restoration of the 66 Motel sign!

 California, Daily  Comments Off on It begins! The fundraiser for the restoration of the 66 Motel sign!
Mar 292012
 







IndieGogo Fundraiser to relight the 66 Motel sign in Needles CA.

Here is your chance to help restore and get the 66 Motel sign lit up again after 15 years of being off!
Every dollar counts! Share this with EVERYONE you know to get the word out to save this iconic historic sign!

We have several folks and businesses along the route who have donated items to donors – so not only do you get the gift of satisfaction for helping such a worthwhile cause – you also GET something from the route!

The painting work has been started and this will be for the neon, transformers, electrical , and installation.
I cannot thank you enough for the help!

Click HERE for more information on how to donate.

Ed Klein
Route 66 World

Winslow to Holbrook – nice and slow!

 Arizona, Daily  Comments Off on Winslow to Holbrook – nice and slow!
Mar 222012
 



Seeing I have the next 12-14 months running back and forth from Scottsdale to Joseph City / Holbrook, I figured I should REALLY get to know the eastern part of Route 66 in Arizona as well as I could…

I usually leave around 5am (or earlier) on my trek north to Flagstaff then east to Joseph City. I like driving in the dark, there is no one out and the road is pretty much yours.

Getting to Flagstaff – the snow was everywhere! Reports said 19-28″ (depending on who you believe) fell over the weekend, and I decided to postpone my trip one day to get the plows out and do what they do best.






I hit a few ice patches in Flagstaff, but just enough to get gas and get on I-40 (sorry, I have a meeting to get to!)

Before I rushed to get to my meeting, I thought it would be nice to get off at the Winslow exit to ‘poke a peek’ at what was happening. I came across this building, which has a story behind it…







This is the ‘Route 66 Palace’ in Winslow – located right across the street from the Winslow Theater (the theater is for sale ya know!) and I stumbled upon the owner via a website dedicated to, his wife’s truck (??)

For those who do not know – I am restoring a 1949 Ford F-3 3/4 ton pickup truck, because I like to work on things. While looking for parts online, I came across an unusal 1948 Ford F-1 1/2 ton pickup truck, and it caught my eye.







The one on the left is hers – the one on the right is mine.

So, I tracked down the owner of the Route 66 Palace Brian, and he and I spoke for about an hour about, well, Route 66 stuff!
I can tell you he is a welcome addition to the ‘owners club’ on the route, and he is going full steam ahead with the restoration of his building, which he told me he will use as a ‘getaway house’. So you might ask, what is he running from? The same type of thing anyone owning a summer cottage, a small home on the lake, or even a ski resort place, this one happens to be on the route!

He and I will meet in the near future!

After my meeting, I went to lunch at the Wayside Cafe in Holbrook for a quick bite. (sorry – no pics!) I have never been here before and the food wasn’t bad. It is truly a ‘mom and pop’ type of restaurant. Quick and easy. I had the Chicken Burrito – and it was good.

I wanted to leave the job early enough to get to Winslow and stop at a few places, but this would not be the case.

One of those stops was to the Old Trails Museum a few doors down from the ‘Standin on the Corner Gift Shop’







Alas, they were closed!
I always wanted to check it out inside and see what they have on display – maybe next time…

I ALWAYS stop in to my favorite LITTLE gift shop – the Standin’ on the Corner Gift Shop just to chat with the ladies and see what is happening in town. As usual, they were chock-full of knowledge.








I ended up buying a few things for my office (it is slowly becoming the ‘Corporate America Route 66 Shrine!’).

I said my good-byes and hurried over to the Meteor Crater Trading Post to check in… only to find they were closed! Um, it’s getting close to travel season folks! Extend the hours a little!







I keep checking out the ‘World’s Largest Map of Route 66’ mural to assess the work that could be done to it, and there will be quite a bit of work to do. They also want to do a few more things around the property – but that little ‘surprise’ will have to wait.

I felt I needed to get home, but as I was driving towards Flagstaff, I noticed a steel structure going up just north of Twin Arrows. Curious by nature, I got off the Twin Arrows exit and went the OTHER way away from the Trading Post and headed up the road. The road is abruptly closed off with gates and signs and warnings, and I slowly approached a couple who happened to be outside.

I asked them if this is where the new casino was being built and the older gentleman simply replied ‘Yep’. Then he proceeded to ask if I were ‘the media’… He told me the name of the new casino will be the Twin Arrows Resort and Casino – because Twin Arrows itself is trademarked, so they went with this name.








Notice they did not change the logo?

Now, here is the hope: If the casino is going up, I am wondering how long until the Hopi Tribe starts working on the Twin Arrows Diner, Trading Post and Gas Station!

There has always been talk of once the Navajo start the casino…. the Trading Post would be right behind it.

So I left and headed back to Scottsdale. Knowing in a few short days (tomorrow actually!) I am back on the road towards Needles to start recon on the 66 Motel sign so we can light that baby up!!