August 3, 2010

In search of Route 66 (Amarillo by....midday)

What has come before:

Carrizozo, New Mexico
Vaughn, New Mexico
Santa Rosa, New Mexico
Tucumcari, New Mexico
San Jon, New Mexico/Adrian, Texas/Vega, Texas

Amarillo, Texas

Just a couple of miles west of Amarillo is the Cadillac Ranch. I actually had to use longitude and latitude for once with my GPS to find this place, located just off of I-40 in a cattle field. Built in 1974 by Stanley Marsh and San Francisco art collective the Ant Farm; moved about 3 miles west in 1997 due to development. It is one of the Route 66 artifacts referenced in Cars. And although you could Google "cadillac ranch" and find thousands of pictures just like these (many much better), here you go:

cadillac ranch
A ten verse ode to the birth and death of the American automobile's tailfin?

cadillac ranch
cadillac ranch
I'd love to get back to Amarillo some time and get this at sunrise or sunset. Now those would be a little more unique.

art deco theater in amarillo
I read somewhere this is a historic, old Art Deco theater.

The Beef Burger Barrell has been open since the late 1930s.

This Art Deco apartment building (the Arlington/Sunset Apartments) from 1926 wasn't actually on Route 66, and it probably belongs in another post, but it was in Amarillo, I was there, so voilà.

santa fe building
One of the oldest buildings in downtown Amarillo, the Santa Fe Building is an example of Late Gothic Revival style and was completed in 1930.

santa fe building

paramount theater
The 1930 Pueblo Deco (Art Deco) Paramount Theater

streamline moderne greyhound station
Streamline Moderne Greyhound Bus Station, c. 1947

bivens building
The 1940, Streamline Moderne Bivens Building

potter county courthouse
The Potter County Courthouse, c. 1932, Moderne

Back on Route 66...

ding how restaurant neon sign

cowboy motel signage
This had to have been an irresistible eye-catcher for kids, who in turn would beg an exhausted (after a long day of driving on Route 66) mom and dad to stop and stay here for the night.

cattleman's club & café neon sign

triangle motel
Built from blueprints dated October, 1944, the Triangle Motel at 7954 Amarillo Boulevard East Amarillo, Texas, was one of the first motels built on Route 66. Cream-colored brick veneer was hand-cut and oven-dried in Amarillo.

Called "A Tourist Court," the Triangle Motel was a God-sent haven midway to California, offering comfortable suites with one 12x16 room, the other one 12x12. The bathrooms with extra-large tiled showers--3x5--were also unexpected luxury for weary travelers in the middle forties.

the big texan neon sign
big texan motel
the big texan steak ranch
The Big Texan opened its doors alongside Route 66 back in 1960. When news came of the building of the new interstate, threatening to bypass the business and suck its life out, a new home for The Big Texan was built at a the current location in 1970. (source)

Carrizozo, New Mexico
Vaughn, New Mexico
Santa Rosa, New Mexico
Tucumcari, New Mexico
San Jon, New Mexico/Adrian, Texas/Vega, Texas
Amarillo, Texas

McLean, Texas
Shamrock, Texas


Aunt Snow said...

Wow, some wonderful photos. Great signs!

I have never been to Amarillo. I didn't know the Cadillac Ranch was so close to it.

My great aunt married an Amarillo man in 1918 and moved there - she was his second wife, and after he died in 1930 she didn't last long there - she moved back to Dallas. I've recently been interested in her time there and would love to go to Amarillo and research where they lived.

Great tour of the town. I love the Beef Burger barrel. Many of the Art Deco buildings must have been built after my great-aunt left town.

Chris said...

Amarillo was great, Aunt Snow. I should have spent one day just exploring there. Maybe I'll go back someday. I was surprised (pleasantly) to find all of the Deco, one of my loves.

Retro Hound said...

I've not been commenting, but I'm enjoying your trip.

Chris said...

Thanks, Retro Hound. At least one more installment coming up.

Amy said...

Are you loving that gigantic old neon or what?

What's the Big Texan - touristy airbrushed tee-shirts, etc.? From the outside, it looks like some kitchy place I'd have loved as a kid.

Chris said...

Amy, the Big Texan is a steak ranch/motel and considered to be a Route 66 institution. Lots of great neon, that's for sure.