Landmark status eludes lost neon glory of Route 66

Breaking News

The Riviera Courts motel [on Route 66] is crumbling away, and nobody seems to care....

Owners who inherited these historical footnotes have no use for them and would rather sell the properties to a developer if the price was right.

Today, many structures that made the road what it was -- the diners, family owned service stations, barbecue joints -- have fallen apart. With efforts to fix up these architectural landmarks scarce, time has become the road's worst enemy.

The nonprofit National Historic Route 66 Federation in Lake Arrowhead, Calif., estimates at least 3,000 motels along the route are in various states of disrepair.

"Motels are such a part of our recent history that it's often hard for people to view them as historically significant," says Kaisa Barthuli, with the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program in Santa Fe .

To drum up support for these forgotten properties, preservationists in Oklahoma recently added Route 66 motels to a list of most endangered historic places.

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