City works to save historic Route 66 buildings with new building directory

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As development picks up along Central Avenue, there’s now a push to help preserve Albuquerque’s old Route 66 feel and some of the classic architecture.

The De Anza Hotel is one of the buildings that’s been saved and is in the works for restoration. Now, the city is looking preserve 55 more buildings along the Central corridor.

Some buildings along Route 66 date back to the early 1900s. They’re unique in design, with ornate details. They just don’t make buildings like this anymore.

“They’re beautiful structures, that architectural design is hard to duplicate,” said Albuquerque resident David Garcia.

Buildings like Occidental Life, the Sunshine and Rosenwald buildings are all on the national register of historic places.

Over the years, buildings have been saved from the wrecking ball.

“The KiMo Theatre, and thank goodness we saved that,” said Melissa Lea, the President of the New Mexico Route 66 Association.

It’s too late now to save buildings like the original Alvarado Station and the Franciscan hotel, or the old Victorians that used to line Gold Street downtown.

“Whenever we lose a historic one, we’re especially concerned about that loss because they aren’t making anymore of those,” said Ed Boles in an interview in 2011.

Now, city council is introducing a resolution for a Route 66 historic building inventory, to document and preserve buildings more than 50 years old.

“In looking at all of these buildings at once and getting them under a form of protection is a very good thing,” said Melissa Lea.

She said this is much needed to preserve Albuquerque’s old charm, and other locals agree.

“I think that is really neat, I love they way they’re doing that,” said David Garcia.

The city said the building inventory would have a snapshot of the building, information about it, building materials used, as well as its interesting architectural features.

Lea said other towns in New Mexico have also refurbished buildings along the route.

The buildings that make the list could be up for nomination to be in the state and national registries of historic buildings. The buildings will also be eligible for state and federal tax credits to help pay for maintenance and restoration.

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