Flagstaff still conserves many of its classic Route 66 motels from the 1940s and 1950s. Below are those that are closest to the downtown area. Leave your car and walk, it is an interesting walking tour.
Start from the Visitor Center (old Railway station) where you can also have your Route 66 Passport stamped. Walk one block east along Route 66 to the Historic old steam engine parked at Santa Fe Plaza. Across the road is The Arizona Music Pro where the Greyhound bus terminal once stood. Route 66 entered Flagstaff here and was known as "Front Street", but it did not continue west, instead it crossed the tracks at San Francisco St. and headed south to Phoenix Avenue where it took a right westwards south of the railroad. Follow the old road to the corner of San Francisco and Phoenix and on the soutwest corner see the Downtowner Motel which opened in 1919 as the Nackard Hotel (formerly a brothel). The current building dates back to the 1930s.
Follow Route 66's 1920s and early 1930s alignment west down Phoenix Ave. to Beaver St. passing the Motel Sierra Vista shwon below:
Ahead, on the northwest corner of Phoenix and Beaver is the 1929 DuBeau Motel Inn (see a street view of it nowadays below).
Cross Beaver St. and continue down wests along Phoenix Ave. to Mike’s Pike. Here Route 66 crossed the Rio de Flag and took a left towards the SW along Mike's Pike.
Follow it to Cottage Ave., and on the SE corner (100 Mike's Pike) are the remnants of a home built in 1896 which in 1926 became a store with several cabins; the B&M Auto Camp.
Pass by the oldest church in Flagstaff (Our Lady of Guadalupe, from the 1930s) and on your right is the Double Circle Garage built in 1926 and still operating as a repair shop. The building retains the same square shaped facade.
The church can be seen in both images below
Above is a 1938 view of the Garage, from the Tate, Albert E. Collection North Arizona University, under fair use.
Below is its current Street View:
The Spur Motel (now Knights Inn)
224 S. Mikes Pike, Flagstaff
The 1950s postcard below shows the 1950s Spur Motel with its flashy signpost. The back of the postcard said the following: "THE SPUR MOTEL One block west of underpass near College, on Hwys. 66 & 89. Flagstaff, Arizona Beautiful newly constructed units - radiated hot water heating. Tile tub and shower combination. Wall to wall carpeting. Designed to please the most discriminating guest. Phone 906. Mildred & Chester Dohrer Owner-Managers".
The Spur Motel a 1950s postcard
Above: The Spur Motel in a 1950s postcard, Flagstaff, Arizona, by James R. Powell Route 66 Collection, Lake County Discovery Museum. Under Fair Use.
The same spot today is the Knights Inn,
The building is stil standing on the corner, and although the sign is gone, it is still open as a Motel. It even retains the original building but with some small changes.
The bricks have been plastered and the canopy in front of the office converted to additional office space.
Above: Street view of the former Spur Motel, now the Knights Inn, Flagstaff, Arizona, by A. Whittall from Google Street View.
In the same area, just south of the Knights Inn is the Canyon Inn and, straight ahead, across S. Milton Road is a mural with a cow painting. The building with the mural was National Guard Armory, now it is a store named Natural Grocers.
The "L" Motel
Located just north, along S Milton Rd. Is what once was the L Motel and nowadays is still a motel, the Rodeway Inn. Surprisingly, the rooms are the same, but the office located in the middle of the court and parking space is gone. See the images below:
Above: A view of the "L" Motel in a 1960s vintage postcard, by James R. Powell Route 66 Collection, Lake County Discovery Museum. Under Fair Use.
Above, The L-Motel site today,Flagstaff AZ, A Rodeway Inn. Image by Google Street View
Head north, towards the underpass and cross it. On the north side of the railroad you will see, to the Northwest, the former Vandevier Motel.
402 W. Santa Fe Ave. NW corner just north of the underpass.
The old building is quite intact, but the two story gabled house is gone the long. The one story building along Santa Fe Ave. is still there. Below is its current Street View, and how it looked in the 1950s in a vintage postcard.
The same place nowadays:
Walk eastwards along Route 66 back towards the station on the right side of the road just by the underpass is an old concrete bridge wall which belonged to the original Route 66 bridge that crossed the Rio de Flag. The City Hall complex on the north side of the road replaced many classic Route 66 buildings, but one motel still survives on the NE corner of Humphrey's St. the old Lane Motel:
122 Historic Rte 66, Flagstaff
The Lane Motel opened in 1948 on Route 66 and Humphrey's Street, in downtown Flagstaff. It was run by Haydee Lane and Joe Sharber. The part that faced Route 66 had a Texaco service station.
The postcard above shows it in the 1940s and on its back states "Lane Motel U.S. 66 and 89 Flagstaff, Arizona Phone: 750 A nicely furnished, 17 unit, steam-heated motel with private baths. Innerspring mattresses. Walking distance to theatres, cafes and shopping district. Complete 24-hour "one-stop" Texaco Service while you sleep. A Lane, Sharber and Sharber Enterprise".
The postcard is from the James R. Powell Route 66 Collection, Lake County Discovery Museum.
Below is how the same place looks today. The building is still standing, though the service station has closed. Nowadays it is the Roadway Inn. You will see that the two story building on the rear part of the property is intact, but the front, facing Old Route 66 has changed.
Current view by A. Whittall based on Google Street View.
Read more about Flagstaff and its attractions at our website.
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