El Vado Auto Court’s uncertain but promising future
By Ty Bannerman
Amid the Spanish Pueblo revival architectural accents and painted figures from Native American mythology that adorn El Vado Auto Court’s peeling walls, a banner announces “The purest Route 66 motel surviving! 70 years of continuous hospitality!” It’s a sad irony for a business that has been shuttered since 2005 and whose ultimate fate remains in limbo.
A piece of Americana was lost last week as the Aztec Motel, which once stood at Central and Aliso in Nob Hill, was demolished. According to this KRQE report, owner Jerry Landgraf, said it would have cost too much—an estimated $1 million (which, in the scheme of things, seems like an insignificant amount of money)—to restore the memorabilia-bedecked landmark, built in 1932. Landgraf now intends to erect lofts or shops at the site. On the bright side, the City of Albuquerque owns El Vado and the De Anza, and plans to restore those historic Route 66 motels.