New Mexico Route 66 Neon Sign Restoration Project

 

 

 

Prepared by

Johnnie V Meier

New Mexico Route 66 Association

April 30, 2003

Updated July 29, 2003

 

 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

 

Classic neon signs are recognized as intrinsic to the culture and history of Route 66 as indicated by their inclusion on both state and national registers of historic properties.  The New Mexico Route 66 Neon Sign Restoration Project resulted in the restoration of nine classic neon signs in the communities of Tucumcari, Santa Rosa, Moriarty, Albuquerque, Grants, and Gallup.  These signs include motels, restaurants, and a curio shop that served Route 66 travelers.  As a result of the sign restorations, both business owners and the communities have a renewed pride in their heritage and a renewed appreciation for the historical significance of these properties.  The project was a partnership of the New Mexico Route 66 Association, the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division, and the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation office.  PBS has filmed a documentary on this project, which will provide a record of achievement.  The project was honored with the 2003 Outstanding Preservation Award by Route 66 Magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table Of Contents

 

List of Figures……………………………………………………………………       4

List of Appendices………………………………………………………………..      5

1.0 Background…………………….…………………………………………….      5

2.0 Project Objectives……………………………………………………………      5

3.0 Eligibility for Restoration……………………………………………………         5

   3.1 Years of Significance……………………………………………………….      5 

   3.2 Location…………………………………………………………………….     5

   3.3 Sign Features………………………………………………………………..     5 

   3.4 Adaptive Use………………………………………………………………..    5

4.0   Project Execution…………………………………………………………….    6

   4.1 Organization…………………………………………………………………    6   

   4.2 Project Timeline……………………………………………………………..     6   

   4.3 Public Outreach………………………………………………………..……..   6

4.4 Response to Application Solicitation………………………………………         7  

   4.5 Advisory Panel………………………………………………………………    8 

4.6 RFQ for Sign Restorations………………………………………………….      8 

4.7 Application Evaluation………………………………………………………     8    

   4.8 Additional Restorations………………………………………………………    9

4.9 Restoration Contracting …………………………………………………….     9

4.10 Comments on Restoration Contracts……………………………………….. 10    

5.0  Project Restoration Methodology……………………………………………..     10

5.1  Paradise Motel Sign…………………………………………………………     10  

5.2    The TeePee Curio Shop……………………………………………………..   12  

5.3    La Cita Restaurant…………………………………………………………..    13 

5.4    Sun N Sand Motel …………………………………………………………..   13

5.5    The El Comedor Rotosphere…………………………………………………  14

5.6    The Aztec Motel……………………………………………………………..   14

5.7    Westward Ho Motel………………………………………………………….  15 

5.8    Grants Cafe Sign……………………………………………………………..  16

5.9  Lexington Hotel Sign………………………………………………………...    18

6.0    Restoration Gallery ………………………………………………………….      18

7.0    PBS Documentary……………………………………………………………     21  

8.0    Collateral Benefits…………………………………………………………….     21

    8.1  La Cita Restaurant………………………………………………………….    22  

    8.2  The TeePee Curio Shop……………………………………………………………            22

    8.3  Increased Awareness  Regarding the Historic Value of Classic Neon……          22

    8.4  Public Awareness…………………………………………………………..    23 

9.0   Commemorative Plaques…………………………………………………….     24

10.0  Project Recognized with Award……………………………………………..     24

11.0  Follow-Up Project: Architectural Neon…………………………………….       24

12.0  Acknowledgements…………………………………………………………..   24

Appendices………………………………………………………………………….25

  

List Of Figures

 

Figure 1.  Paradise Motel.  The photo at the left represents the sign prior to restoration.  The vintage photo to the right represents the original configuration of the sign. 11

Figure 2.  TeePee Curio Shop. Vintage photo paired with a contemporary photo prior to restoration.  The TeePee is not open at night but the neon attracts the attention of overnight visitors in Route 66 motels. 12

Figure 3.  La Cita Photos. 13

Figure 4.  Sun N Sand.  Left is photo from a vintage postcard, to the right is prior to restoration. 13

Figure 5.  The unrestored rotosphere.       ……………………………………………... 15                                

Figure 6.  Left is the unrestored Aztec Sign. 15

Figure 7.  Westward Ho.  Below left is the vintage postcard image and  to the right is the sign prior to restoration. 15

Figure 8.  Grants Cafι Sign configurations over five decades.  The 50s vintage sign was chosen as the configuration for restoration. 17

Figure 9.  Lexington Hotel Sign prior to restoration. 18

 

Restored Sign Gallery

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Figure 10.. TeePee Curios Tucumcari  ………………………………………………..    19

Figure 11.  LaCita Restaurant Tucumcari……………………………………………..     19

Fgure  12   Sun BN Sand Motel Santa Rosa……………………………………………20

Figure 13.  Paradise Motel Tucumcari……………………………………………….,,,    20

Figure 14.  Aztec Motel Albuquerque     ……………………………………………..     20

Figure 15.  Westward Ho Albuquerque ……….. ……………………………………..   21

Figure 16.  Grants Cafι Grants ….. .…………………………………………………..   21

Figure 17.  Lexington Hotel Gallup ….………………………………………………..     21

Figure 18.  Rotosphere Moriarty …….………………………………………………      21

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Figure 19.  Follow-up neon addition at the TeePee…………………………………….23                

 

List of Appendices

 

Appendix A:  Sample of Award Plaque……………………………………………….      27

Appendic B:  Grant Application Instructions………………………………………….       28

Appendic C:  Grant Application Form ………………………………………………..      30

Appendix D:  1958 Neon Work Order………………………………………………….  33

Appendix E:   RFQ for Neon Contractors……………………………………………       35

Appendix F:  Budget Detail Sign Contracting Cost/Cost Share………………………        38

Appendix G:  In-Kind Contributions…………………………………………………..      38

Appendix H:  Project Budget Summary……………………………………………….      39

Appendix I:   Sample Contractor Bid Details……………………………….………….     40 

Appendix J:  Restoration Candidate Reference Book…………………………………..     43

 

New Mexico Route 66 Neon Sign Restoration Project

 

1.0 Background

 

The roots of the project lie in Public Law 106-45 that was enacted in late 1999  “To preserve the cultural resources of the Route 66 corridor and authorize the Secretary of the Interior to provide assistance.” Congress authorized $10,000,00 from 2000 to 2009, nominally $1,000,000 per year.  The National Park Service (NPS) was charged with administering the program and established the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Office.  During the year 2000, the NPS called upon various organizations and agencies to submit restoration applications.  Elmo Baca of the New Mexico Historic Preservation Department (HPD) responded with a proposal that included a project to restore neon signs along New Mexico’s Route 66. The NPS elected to fund Elmo Baca’s proposal and after a competitive solicitation, the New Mexico Route 66 Association was funded to manage the project. 

 

2.0 Project Objectives

 

The objective of the project is to restore at least five neon signs along New Mexico’s Route 66. Vintage neon signage is intrinsic to the roadside culture of Route 66. Tourists and local communities seeking to rediscover the 66 mystique identify vintage neon signage with the golden age of Route 66.  The restoration of at least five vintage neon signs was anticipated to stimulate interest and investment in further Route 66 restoration projects.  Completion of the project is expected to draw nationwide attention to this preservation project with rollover benefit to participating communities.

 

3.0 Eligibility for Restoration.

 

The following criteria were used to establish a baseline for suitable projects.

 

3.1 Years of Significance.  Neon signs that were operational prior to 1970 will be defined as eligible.

3.2 Location.  Proposed Projects must be for restorable neon signs that would be visible from Route 66 during any of its alignments.

3.3 Sign Features.  Signs can be neon or neon augmented with incandescent light bulbs.  Non-original add-ons to vintage signs such as fluorescent backlit message boards will not disqualify a proposed sign

3.4 Adaptive Use.  Restoration applications will be accepted that propose to convert an existing restorable sign to new use.  For an example, the cowboy image of the original Simon’s Western Wear Store in Albuquerque was converted for use as a tavern sign while maintaining the aesthetics of the original sign.

 

 

 

 

4.0   Project Execution

 

A Project Leader supported by a panel of subject matter experts administered the execution of the project. 

 

4.1 Organization.  The President of the New Mexico Route 66 Association, Johnnie Meier,  was selected to serve as the Project Manager based on previous experience as a Project Manager on government funded projects.  The Project Manager recruited a panel of subject matter experts to serve on an evaluation and advisory panel to establish the criteria for candidate evaluation and to recommend and rank candidates for restoration based on submitted restoration applications.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

4.2 Project Timeline.  Project Milestones were established as follows.                                                                                                                                             

 

March 2002.  Project announcement, public meetings, application distribution.

April 30 2002   Deadline for Application submission                                                                                                                                                 

May 31 2002 Announcement of Winning Projects.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

June 2002   Contractor Bids sought and contracts awarded for services.

Sept 1.  Restoration work completed with sign installed and operational             

      Sept 30.  Final report submitted by New Mexico Route 66 Association.     

 

The original timeline was extended to allow project completion by April 30 2003.  This was deemed appropriate due to the unusual set of variables associated with restoration work and the fact that the project was expanded to provide for nine restorations instead of the original five restorations.                          

 

4.3 Public Outreach.  The New Mexico Route 66 Association managed a multifaceted publicity campaign to announce the availability of funds for neon sign restoration.  The Association used the following venues to publicize the availability of funds.

 

  1. Web Site. The New Mexico Route 66 Association web site at www.rt66nm.org 

      announced the project with online application guidelines as well as a            printable application for the project.

2.      Press Release.  A press release was written and sent to the newspapers that served the Route 66 communities resulting in articles such as the one published in the Business Outlook Section of the Albuquerque Journal.

3.      Route 66 New Mexico Magazine featured an issue dedicated to classic Route 66 neon including an article paying tribute to classic neon by Michael Wallis. The issue announced the project and provided informational articles as well as an example of a classic sign restoration.

4.   Community Meetings.  Working with community organizations such as Chamber of Commerces, public meetings were held chaired by the Project Manager for the Association.  Public Meetings were conducted in Tucumcari, Santa Rosa, Albuquerque, Grants, and Gallup. These public meetings were used to present project details, distribute information packets and restoration project applications, and answer questions.

5.   Individual Meetings.  The Project Manager proactively sought out potential                  applicants through individual on-site meetings with Route 66 business owners.

 

Information Management was coordinated by the Association   An agreement between the business owners and the sign restorations companies was reached that stipulated that all media contact regarding this project shall be contingent on approval of the New Mexico Route 66 Association.  This allowed the Association to plan a coordinated and comprehensive media campaign to optimally communicate information about the project.

 

4.4   Response to Application Solicitation.   Although the media publicity was effective in soliciting applications, it was observed that a number of notable properties were not responding to the press releases.   Personal visits were required to address preconceptions about the project that had discouraged some potential applicants from applying.  The combination of public outreach initiatives resulted in 16 applications representing Tucumcari, Santa Rosa, Moriarty, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Grants, and Gallup.  An additional inquiry from San Jon was received however the motel property was not an active enterprise and the property was declared ineligible.

 

It was learned through the interview process that business owners expressed a variety of reasons for not originally responding to the public solicitation.

 

a.       Application Paperwork.  Some business owners, particularly immigrant owners, felt inadequate to the task of filling out forms.

b.      Skepticism.  Business owners expected that the restoration decisions were preconceived and that the winners had been decided prior to the application process.

c.       Cash Match.  Some business owners were not able to provide a full cash match up front and therefore were not inclined to apply.

 

The Project Manager addressed the paperwork situation by personally assisting some business owners in filling out the forms.  The Project Manager addressed the skepticism by assuring that the panel of independent experts have the full authority to evaluate proposals and that the neither the Project Manager nor any government official was a member of the decision making panel.  The Project Manager emphasized that there was no formula for the decision process and that the process was merit based.  Therefore there was no quota of restorations for distribution among the communities and that if a community did not have a meritorious project, it would be excluded.  On the other hand, if a community submitted five of the most meritorious applications, that community could conceivably receive all five restorations.  With regard to cash matching, a system of periodic payments (i.e. monthly payments) were structured to allow businesses to avoid large lump sum payments.  This enabled some businesses to apply that would be otherwise excluded.

 

4.5  Advisory Panel.  A panel of subject matter experts was assembled to contribute to the application process and to evaluate the applications.  The panel members were Dr. David Kammer, Don Usner, Steve Fitch, and Michael Wallis.  David is a well-known historian who appeared in the PBS special Route 66 in New Mexico and has published studies of historic properties on Route 66.  Steve Fitch is an accomplished neon tube bender, contributor to the book Vintage Neon, and author of several books including Diesels and Dinosaurs, a photoessay on roadside culture.  Don Usner is a published author whose most recent work is New Mexico Route 66 on Tour – The Legendary Architecture from Glenrio to Gallup.  Michael Wallis is the Pulitzer Prize nominated author, speaker, and champion for Route 66 and roadside culture.  The panel operated independently as an advisory group to the Project Manager.  The panel was empowered to select the projects for restoration.  The Project Manager did not participate in the selection process except to answer questions from the panel.  

 

4.6  RFQ for Sign Restorations.  A Bidders Book (also called the Candidate Profiles Book) was prepared and sent to the following neon sign vendors.  The format included sign identification, points of contact, photos, and other data pertinent to assisting the sign companies formulate their bids.  The following companies were invited to bid.

 

-          BriteLite Neon, Albuquerque

-          Southwest Outdoor Electric, Albuquerque

-          SignArts, Albuquerque

-          M&J Signs, Albuquerque

-          Zeon Signs, Albuquerque

-          Clovis Sign Company, Clovis

-          Hinkley Signs, Gallup

-          Santa Fe Sign Co., Santa Fe

 

Tucumcari, Santa Rosa, Moriarty and Grants were not served by a community based neon company.  For the eastern part of the state, Clovis Sign Company is the prime contractor.  Bidders were invited to bid on signs individually.  Bids were received from all companies except Santa Fe Sign.  For reference, a sample bid is provided as an appendix to this document that provides insight into costing for restoration tasks associated with a vintage neon sign restoration.

 

4.7  Application Evaluation.   The panel was advised by e-mail of project progress and candidate profiles based on applications were posted on the web at a private address for the panel’s review.  The web site provided summaries of all applications in a common format including photographs. 

 

The criteria for ranking, as captured in the application form include:

 

- Historic Significance

-    Distinguishing Attributes

-    Economic Impact

-    Matching Resources

 

The panel was advised that rankings were to be based on project merit.  It was explained that there was no predefined formula for funds distribution among communities along Route 66.  In addition, the panel will be advised to strongly factor in the matching resources offered in the proposal.

 

All four panel members met on June 24th in Albuquerque along with the Project Manager.  The panel used the Candidate Profile Book (also called the Bidder’s Book) appended to this document as a reference in the decision making process.   The TeePee Curio Shop, the La Cita Restaurant, the Aztec Motel, the El Comedor rotosphere, the Westward Ho Motel, and the Lexington Hotel were selected allowing five signs plus one bonus sign if funds allowed. The Rio Pecos Truck Stop sign was an interesting candidate in that the sign lent itself to adaptive use.  The City of Santa Rosa proposed to purchase the sign, relocate to a more visible location, and adapt this sign to serve as a community message board that would be used to announce events.  However, the city withdrew the application as a result of an excessive price asked by the owners of the sign.  The application for the Uranium Cafι was withdrawn as a result of the inability to provide a cash or in-kind match.

 

4.8 Additional Restorations. The Association decided to donate its management fee to the project and together with additional cash and in-kind matches, the budget was expanded to include additional signs.  Referencing discussions of the panel on June 24th,  a decision was made by the Project Manager to include the Grants Cafι, the El Rey Theater,  the Paradise Motel, and the Sun N Sand restaurant. 

        

4.9 Restoration Contracting.  Rather than institute contracts between the business owner and the contractor, the contractors entered into contracts with the Association.  This allowed coordination and consistent administration of the contracts. It also allowed the Association to act as an advocate for the business owner.

 

The contracts consisted of a formal Statement of Work and a Contract Performance Schedule.  A warranty clause was added for one year to cover malfunctions resulting from workmanship or materials.   Upon signing the contract, 25% of the value of the contract was paid, the remaining 75% of funds paid upon completion of the project.

 

Contractors and winning bids were as follows.

 

TeePee Curio Shop $9350 Clovis Sign Company

La Cita Restaurant  $5600 Clovis Sign Company

Paradise Motel $6740 Clovis Sign Company

Sun N Sand Motel $8,084 Southwest Outdoor Electric

El Comedor $4,084 RotoSphere Southwest Outdoor Electric

Aztec Motel $3200 Zeon Signs

Westward Ho Motel $2500 BriteLite Neon

Grants Cafι $11,000 SignArts

Lexington Hotel $4,970 Hinkley Signs

 

 

 

4.10 Comments on Restoration Contracts.  Based on interactions with all contractors, restorations are regarded as not lucrative work.  Many unknown variables manifest themselves in restorations that make cost estimating risky.  A number of contractors cited losing money as a rule on restorations.  The nature of the work is unpleasant since many of the old signs are infested with pigeon nests and consequently, pigeon droppings can be inches deep within the signs.  Stripping, sheetmetal reworking, and rewiring are labor intensive.  These factors, compared to creating and installing new signs, render restorations unattractive from a business point of view.  Estimating new sign work involves known variables, which allows profit margins.

 

Although this project was not attractive from a financial point of view, the contractors were generally family based businesses with several generations of signmakers in the family tree.  Therefore, there were instances where candidate signs were the earlier craftwork of the fathers of some contractors or was the craftwork of a highly regarded friend.  In addition, many or the signworkers are oldtimers who had a nostalgic connection to the old signs.  Consequently, even though the restoration work was risky, the sign companies were inclined to bid based on a nostalgic appreciation for the vintage signs.

             

5.0  Project Restoration Methodology.

 

The project has resulted in restoring nine vintage signs exceeding the contractual requirement of five signs.  Each individual restoration is reviewed in the following section.

 

5.1  Paradise Motel Sign.  The existing Paradise Motel Sign as shown in the accompanying photo included a lower section depicting images of Tocom and Kari on opposite sides from each other.  Tocom and Kari are characters from a tragic Indian couple from which Tucumcari is said to have received its name. The project was bid as a restoration as shown in the photo.  However, subsequent research yielded an early photo on file at LaDeane Studios in Tucumcari. 

 

The older photo revealed a very different sign that included a wonderful diving bathing beauty that is iconic of some classic neon motel signs.  The motel indeed did have a swimming pool that is presently filled in.   After consulting with the Historic Preservation Division, it was decided that the restoration should include the original motif.  At the same time, the creative use of the pool splash as a headdress for the Indian images and the quality of the images could be appreciated as folk art.

 

Therefore, the decision was made to allocate funding that would provide for the original restoration and also preserve to images of Tocom and Kari.  The original “can” that included the two images was removed and installed on a pedestal in the vicinity of the sign while a new replica can consistent with the restoration was constructed.   A remaining obstacle was the fact that the old sign displayed “POOL” in neon, yet there was no pool at the motel.  Two suggestions were considered, the first being to simply paint the word “NO” above the neon “POOL.”  This was dismissed since at night, the neon “POOL” would be very noticeable while the unlit “NO” would be dim.  The second idea was simply to purchase a plastic wading pool and declare the plastic pool as the pool.  This idea, while appealing in its humor, was not favored by the motel owner.

 

Finally, adaptive use was decided upon that replaced the word “POOL” with “OPEN” since the neon insulators supported four letters.  In addition, it can be noted that both “POOL” and “OPEN” share two letters, “O” and “P.” 

 

Also added to the original contract was the fabrication of the diving bathing beauty on a scale indicated by the photo.  The finished restoration is an accomplishment where the cooperation of Clovis Sign Company was commendable and instrumental to the success.

 

 

Figure 1.  Paradise Motel.  The photo at the left represents the sign prior to restoration.  The vintage photo to the right represents the original configuration of the sign.

 

5.2   The TeePee Curio Shop.  The sign for the TeePee curio shop had undergone changes in the original image.  As the associated vintage nighttime  image shows, the original TeePee featured zig-zag details and a zia-like sun symbol in the center.  The contemporary image showed horizontal stripes in place of the zig-zags and a 66 shield instead of the sun symbol.  The vintage photo was used as a reference and the original motif was restored.

 

The TeePee Curio Shop is a modest revenue generator and a cash match on the part of the owner was not practical.  Fortunately, partial cash matching was available from the City of Tucumcari.  In addition, the owner, Mike Callens, was enthusiastic about refinishing and repainting the metal work which was estimated to be a  $1000+ undertaking by the sign company that was the successful bidder on the project.  Mike erected scaffolding on the back of his pickup truck and spent several weeks painstakingly removing dead paint, applying primer, and painting details with great care and skill.  The detail included individually painted cactus needles on the cactus arms.  Although not evident in the restoration photo, the elaborate symbol topping the sign flashes on and off which creates an attention getting display from the street.  The location of the TeePee is within line-of-sight of the Blue Swallow Motel and the close proximity of these two properties creates an impressive streetscape.

 

Figure 2.  TeePee Curio Shop. Vintage photo paired with a contemporary photo prior to restoration.  The TeePee is not open at night but the neon attracts the attention of overnight visitors in Route 66 motels

 

5.3  La Cita Restaurant.  The restoration of the La Cita Restaurant was based on a vintage postcard obtained by the Project Manager.  As can be seen, the color scheme                                                            

had changed noting the black outlined green “LACITA” and the difference in background color behind “MEXICAN FOODS.”  

 

The sign is noteworthy in that the sombrero shaped sign originally rotated on its pole.  For the restoration, the motorized rotation was restored. The periphery of the sign is illuminated with “chaser” lights that provide animation. 

 

The sign stands at the busiest intersection in town and as a restored sign, commands the attention of passing motorists. 

 

The restaurant remains open during the evening hours and therefore the illuminated sign attracts customers.

Figure 3.  La Cita Photos

 

5.4    Sun N Sand Motel.  The reference for the Sun N Sand Motel was a vintage postcard obtained by the Project Manager.

Figure 4.  Sun N Sand.  Left is photo from a vintage postcard, to the right is prior to restoration.

 

As can be seen, the color of the “MOTEL” background had changed.  The restoration restored the original blue background.  The Sun N Sand sign is a large and imposing sign that can be seen from I-40 that bisects Santa Rosa.  Motorists on I-40 will have the opportunity to view the sign and elect to exit for accommodations and a meal at the adjacent Sun N Sand restaurant.

 

5.5  The El Comedor Rotosphere.  The rotosphere is an unusual device consisting of counterrotating hemispheres with the entire unit rotating above a pole.  The drive mechanism is an electrically powered adapted Ford Model A differential. The 11-foot long spikes are individually outlined in neon.

Only one company bid on the rotosphere because of the high degree of uncertainty with regard to the condition of the drive mechanism.  The contractor agreed to remove and examine the rotosphere with an option to cancel the restoration if the mechanism was not practical to repair.  Upon disassembly and inspection, the contractor determined that the rotosphere was restorable and that the differential and commutators were in fine condition.  The electric motor required rebuilding.  No vintage photos were available for the rotosphere but the contractor had a working knowledge of the rotospheres having serviced and installed them many decades earlier.  The color

Figure 5.  The unrestored rotosphere.                                 scheme was based on memory.

 

The restored rotosphere is believed to be the only operational rotosphere along the length of Route 66.

 

5.6  The Aztec Motel.  The Aztec Motel sign is distinguished by the fact that the sign faces are colored porcelain enamel rather than painted steel.  Porcelain enamel was

characteristic of a premium quality sign.  Porcelain enamel finishes are exceptionally durable known to have remained serviceable for more than 100 years.  The porcelain surface on the Aztec sign was in fine condition with rich original colors.  Therefore, expensive refinishing of the sign faces was not required enabling a relatively inexpensive restoration for such a large sign.

 

5.7    Westward Ho Motel.  The Westward Ho Motel is located on West Central in Albuquerque and is characterized by its saguaro cactus design.  A vintage postcard image was obtained of the Westward Ho.  The postcard image showed darker colors however the colors on the card appeared saturated overall. The postcard appeared to show the neon cactus extending up into the face of the sign and intercepting the “MOTEL” letters and partially covering the neon vacancy wording.  This appeared to be a liability in terms of readability and the apparently extended cactus neon was not restored to cover the face of the sign.  The sign was in good condition with the “MOTEL” neon operational.  The owners supplemented their cash match by refinishing and repainting the sign.

     

Figure 6.  Left is the unrestored Aztec Sign.

Figure 7.  Westward Ho.  Below left is the vintage    postcard image and  to the right is the sign prior to restoration.

 

 

 

 

5.8   Grants Cafe Sign.  The Grants Cafι sign represents an extreme in restoration challenges.  The sign was blown down from its signpost several years ago as a result of gusty winds in Grants.  The sign had been removed from its installation site and was abandoned in a field several miles from its original location  The original sign post was a sectional steel structure that had twisted in the wind and was no longer serviceable.  The sign was a large vertical sign spelling out “Grants Cafι” with a sweeping arrow that was attached adjacent to the vertical sign. The restored sign would certainly be a commanding and impressive sight on the Historic Route in a town without many other signature signs. 

 

The original estimate was in the ballpark of $14,000 to restore the sign which seemed out of reach for the project.  However, the bidder on the sign was agreeable to negotiations.  In order to make the project viable, the following stipulations were agreed.

 

-          The sign would be loaded onto a trailer and transported to Albuquerque by the sign owners

-          The sign company would provide engineering drawings for the concrete sign foundation.

-          The owners would construct the foundation including providing concrete

-          The sign company would donate a new signpost.

 

With this arrangement, the sign was affordable.

 

Through research by the Project Manager, there were three configurations of the sign identified that comprised its history.  On the next page is a photocollage of the three configurations.  The 1950s configuration was chosen since it represented the version that existed while the Route 66 was a commissioned highway.

 

The contractor for the sign restoration was SignArts of Albuquerque.  The sign business in Albuquerque is characterized as family owned businesses with a strong network of

connections established through working relationships and family ties.  SignArts determined that a competitor, Zeon Signs, had originally installed the sign and contacted Zeon to determine if old drawings and patterns existed.  Zeon, a member of the restoration team as contractor on the Aztec Motel sign, was able to locate the original patterns as well as the original Work Order from 1958 along with a 1971 update that added architectural zig-zag neon.  As a point of interest, the work order specifies the original neon colors as well as animation of the inner and outer arrows. The original work order is included in this document as an appendix. 

 

Among the signs restored, it is expected that this particular sign will have a very strong impact on the business and the community.  Since this sign blew down several years ago, the business has existed without street signage to attract business to the cafι.  The addition of this sign will attract the attention of travelers.  In addition, the streetscape in the locale of the sign will be greatly enhanced by this large and spectacular sign.

 

Figure 8.  Grants Cafι Sign configurations over five decades.  The 50s vintage sign was chosen as the configuration for restoration.

 

 

5.9   Lexington Hotel Sign.  The Lexington Hotel Sign is a roof-mounted sign located in the downtown area on Route 66.  Although historical sources were consulted, no vintage photos of this sign were located.  However, the sign finish and much of the original tubing remained to allow a faithful restoration.   The Lexington Hotel is a two-story building.  Removal of the sign and installation required an extended crane.

 

The restoration was performed as an in-shop job.  The presence of peeling paint indicated that a complete stripping was required in order to apply a primer basecoat that would prevent future peeling.  Restoration consisted of stripping, rewiring, reprimering, and repainting with a sprayed acrylic automotive style paint.

 

The prominent location of this sign adds to the historic character of the building and enhances the downtown streetscape.

 

Figure 9.  Lexington Hotel Sign prior to restoration.

 

6.0  Restoration Gallery

 

Figure 10.  TeePee Curios Tucumcari             Figure 11.  LaCita Restaurant Tucumcari

Figure 12.  Sun N Sand Motel Santa Rosa.

 

Figure 13.  Paradise Motel Tucumcari            Figure 14.  Aztec Motel Albuquerque

Figure 15.  Westward Ho Albuquerque                     Figure 16.  Grants Cafι Grants

 

Figure 17.  Lexington Hotel Gallup                  Figure 18.  Rotosphere Moriarty

7.0   PBS Documentary

 

The neon restoration project has a number of attributes that warrant attention.

 

-          The visual appeal of classic neon at night

-          The mystique and cultural interest in Route 66

-          The family owned businesses that display the signs

-          The artistry of the neon craftspersons

-          The investment in preservation

 

These elements combined to create an attractive package for a potential documentary film.  The Project Manager approached Michael Kamin, the Producer of the Rocky Mountain Emmy award-winning documentary “Route 66 in New Mexico,” with the opportunity to film the project.  Michael agreed that the content of the restoration project was worthy of a documentary and a partnership was formed.

 

Production costs were estimated at $1000 per minute for a documentary that would be filmed from Tucumcari to Gallup.  The Project Manager estimated that $3000 to $5000 could be raised and Michael agreed to produce the documentary despite the shortfall.

 

The Project Manager put together an underwriting package consisting of $1000 from the New Mexico Route 66 Association, $1000 from the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program, $1000 from the New Mexico Sign Association, and $X from the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division.

 

The film will be 26 minutes in length and will be produced to air on the local PBS show Colores.  The film will be offered for national syndication by the local PBS affiliate KNME-TV.  Michael Kamin expects significant national exposure.  The film is in production at the time of this report and is scheduled to be completed by June 30 2003.

 

The documentary is expected to present several key points.

 

-          There is an active preservation effort underway in New Mexico

-          Many authentic Route 66 properties exist in New Mexico

-          There is inherent cultural and historical value in classic neon signs

-          Neon signmaking is an art form

-          Vintage Route 66 business owners value their heritage.

 

8.0    Collateral Benefits.

 

The restoration of these classic Route 66 signs has resulted in renewed pride in ownership among business owners whose signs have been restored.  In addition, the restoration of prominent classic neon signs has renewed community pride.  Sign companies who practice neon signmaking have a renewed pride in their contribution to the cultural and historical value of Route 66.   The following are selected examples.

 

8.1    La Cita Restaurant. Subsequent to the restoration of the sign, a number of improvements to the property have been realized that were triggered by the sign restoration.  The owners have reupholstered their chairs and booths, repainted interior walls, and have added new items to their menu.  

 

Noting the improvements to the La Cita, a Tucumcari benefactor stepped forward to finance the repainting of the exterior of the restaurant referencing the old postcard image provided by the Association.  The external painting included renewal of wall murals.  Following these improvements, Route 66 Magazine presented the restaurant with an award plaque recognizing the restaurant as a Route 66 landmark.

 

The owners of the restaurant have insured their sign against damage in order to maintain the sign.

 

8.2    The TeePee Curio Shop.   The restoration of the TeePee Curio Shop sign was based on a vintage photograph that showed that the saguaro cactus arms were not outlined in neon.  The restoration was completed in accordance with the vintage photo.  During the restoration, the sign contractor and the owner observed that there were access panels in the cactus arms as well as transformers that suggested the cactus arms were once illuminated with neon.  The owner, the Association,  and the sign contractor worked out a barter agreement that resulted in the contractor fitting the cactus arms with neon.

The owner, concerned about the stability of the newly restored sign in wind conditions, undertook a project to install reinforcing angle iron to support the bottom of the sign to add rigidity and thus provide protection from wind induced vibration.

 

Inspired by the new neon sign, the owner commissioned the contractor to create neon to ornament a longhorn sculpture that had previously hung on the exterior of the Figure 19.  Follow-up neon addition.                building.

 

Presently, the owner has undertaken the repainting of the exterior of the building including the restoration of symbolic Indian figures.

 

The owner has also arranged for insurance on the sign against damage.

 

8.3    Increased Awareness Among Signmakers Regarding the Historic Value of Classic Neon.  As a result of this project, signmakers have a new-found sensitivity to preserving classic neon and to encourage the use of neon where it is historically relevant.  The Association developed a working relationship with the New Mexico Sign Association that represents signmakers in New Mexico.  The Project Manager was the keynote speaker at the 2002 Awards Banquet for the New Mexico Sign Association.  The signmakers are gratified to see their artwork recognized and deemed worthy of historic restoration.  As a follow-up, when signmakers are now called to remove historic signs by new owners who wish to convert to more contemporary signage, the sign companies offer advice on the merits of preserving existing signs.

 

8.4   Public Awareness.  The attributes of this project have resulted in considerable press coverage that has communicated the merits of this project. Notable is an editorial that was published in the Albuquerque Journal, the state’s leading newspaper.  An editorial titled “Neon Restoration is an Idea that Shines” states, “The restoration project is a good idea that shines with pluses: 10 Businesses get ‘spruced up,’ Route 66’s draw for tourists is enhanced, tube benders get to ply their trade and New Mexico can take pride in preserving both its history and an American folk art form.” A partial list of press coverage follows.

 

  1. Neon Restoration is an Idea That Shines, Albuquerque Journal Editorial, Sept 10, 2002
  2. Neon Back on Rt. 66, The Valley News, May 2002 (Front Page)
  3. Group to Turn Back On Neon Along Route 66, Quay County Sun, April 6, 2002 (Front Page)
  4. Neon Revival, Albuquerque Journal, Business Outlook Section, Sept 5 2002, (Front Page)

5    Announcing the Neon Restoration Project, SigNotes, July/August (Association        Newsletter, Front Page)

6.   Restoration, Quay County Sun, Sept 4,2002 (Front Page)

7.      Restoring 66 History, Santa Rosa News, Jan. 10, 2003 (Front Page)

8.      Santa Rosa Part of KNME Documentary Film, Feb 7 2003

9.      New Mexico Route 66 Association Selects Neon Signs for Restoration Project, Santa Rosa News, Aug 23, 2002

10  Special Neon Issue, Route 66 New Mexico magazine, Spring 2002 (Cover Story)

10.  El Comedor Star Shines on Route 66 Again,  The Advocate (Edgewood)May 6, 2003 (Front Page)

 

The following citations are a sampling of newspaper articles that are the result of a story circulated by the Scripps-Howard New Service.

 

1.    A Drive to Re-Energize Neon Signs,  Republican, (Waterbury Ct ),  Oct 13, 2002

2.   Shining New Light on Route 66, Press Enterprise (Riverside Ca ) Oct ?    2002

3.   Drive on to Re-Energize Route 66 Neon Signs, Manhattan Mercury (Manhattan Ks.), Oct 27, 2002.

4.   On Route 66: Park Service Re-energizes Neon Lights’ Vital Signs, Star, Ventura Ca. Oct 27, 2002

 

Based on press inquiries, a number of other media outlets are prepared to lead with stories featuring the completion of the project. 

 

9.0   Commemorative Plaques

 

The contract stipulated that commemorative plaques be placed at the site of all restored properties recognizing the project sponsors.  Plaques were procured and distributed to each of the properties.  In addition, it was recognized that each of the restoration contractors had played a significant role in the project and plaques were presented to each neon contractor.  The award plaque acknowledges the partners in the project.  See the appendix for an illustration of an example plaque.

 

10.0  Project Recognized with Award

 

At the Route 66 Magazine Awards Banquet on July 12, 2003,  the Neon Sign Restoration Project was honored with an award as  the Preservation Project of the Year.

 

11.0   Follow-Up Project

 

During the application process for the neon sign project, a number of applications were received requesting assistance to restore architectural/ornamental neon.  An example of this type of neon is the neon tubes used to line motel roof eaves.  Another example is the decorative use of exterior neon in the form of a neon animal figure.  A review of vintage postcards revealed that architectural neon was integral to many historic Route 66 properties.  However, the existing project did not provide for the restoration of architectural neon.  Subsequently, a grant application was submitted by the New Mexico Route 66 Association that was funded for the year 2003 by the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Office.  It is expected that the restored architectural neon will further enhance the nighttime streetscapes in New Mexico’s Route 66 communities.

 

12.0      Acknowledgements

 

This project was made possible by funding provided by the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Office through the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX A

SAMPLE OF RECOGNITION PLAQUE

 

 

 

APPENDIX B

GRANT APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

 

1 Name of Sign.  State the identifying name of the sign such as “The El Don Motel” sign.

2 Location. Provide the address where the sign is located.  If the sign is not located at the proposed final location, identify.  For example, if the proposed sign is located in a warehouse but is intended for an address on Main Street, be specific with details.

3 Dimensions of Sign.  Identify the size of the sign display area that will be restored not including any posts or support structures.

4 Sign History.  Provide a narration as to the history of the sign.  When was it built(approximate if exact date not known), what sign company built it (if known), cost when new )if known) , any modifications since the initial installation, date of last known operation as a fully functional sign. Is there an identifying tag or label on the sign indicating origin?

5 Distinguishing Sign Attributes. What characteristics of this sign make it especially noteworthy as a candidate for restoration?  Unique features?  Uncommon details?  Is the sign animated? Aesthetics?  Community identification?

6 Description of Present Condition.  What percent of the neon tubing is missing?  Is the painted background still recognizable and legible?  What is the condition of the sheetmetal?  Use photographs to document the condition

7 Restored to original use.  Will the proposed restoration be to the original look, colors, materials, and wording?

8 Adaptive use.  If modifications to the original sign are proposed, describe the modifications.

9 Description of Economic Impact.  Will the restoration of the sign contribute to an ongoing business?  In what ways will the restored sign benefit the business?  If the sign is not associated with an ongoing business, what is the possible economic significance to the community?

10 Matching Resources.  Describe labor, materials, cash that can be applied to the project.  For example, a restoration project may include contributed crane work, cleaning, sandblasting, sheetmetal work, restoration painting, electrical wiring, incandescent and neon work.  A strong proposal would include local resources applied to prepping the sign for neon work.  Cash matching strongly adds merit to an application.  To determine the relative value of your resource match, the following information can be used to provide a rough estimate of the value of the neon work required.  Neon signs are made up of sections or continuous length of neon tubing.  The sections can be associated with a color, a group of words or letters, or a portion of a figure.   To estimate the costs of just the neon components of the sign, the following rough estimates apply. 

 

Neon Section Remake (typical): $48-$60 each

Neon Unit Transformers $95-$130 each

Replacement Lamp Sockets: $5-$6 per socket

 

11 Contact Information.  Please provide the Project point-of-contact in the community.

 

Additional Information

 

Photographs.  Please provide 4”x6” (or larger) color prints that clearly show     the condition and the location of the sign.  Be sure to photograph both sides of the sign.  If the sign is not presently located at the proposed site for restoration, provide photographs of the intended location.  Photographs should be submitted that capture the streetscape environment for the proposed restoration.  Photos depicting the unrestored sign in the foreground (where applicable) with the storefront faηade and street scene in the background are recommended.

 

Recognition Plaques.  The New Mexico Route 66 Association will install plaques at each location of a restored sign identifying the contributors to the individual restoration.

 

Application Submission.  Applications are to be postmarked no later than May 1 2002 and mailed to:

 

Neon Restoration Project

HCR2 Box 3A

Embudo NM 87531

Post Office Delivery Confirmation  service is recommended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX C

APPLICATION FORM RESTORATION GRANT

==========================================

 

Vintage Neon Sign Restoration Grant Application

 

1.0  Name of Sign ________________________________________________________

 

2.0  Location ____________________________________________________________

 

3.0  Dimensions of Sign___________________________________________________

 

4.0  Sign History

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

 

5.0      Distinguishing Sign Attributes

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

 

6.0    Description of Present Condition

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

7.0  Will the Sign be restored to original use?  Yes­­­­­­­­­­­­_______  No_______

 

8.0  Will the sign be converted for adapted use?  Yes_______No______

If Yes, Describe proposed modifications.

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

 

9.0   Description of Economic Impact of Proposed Restoration

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

10.0  Description of Matching Resources for Proposed Restoration

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

11.0  Name, Address, and Contact Information for Proposed Restoration Project

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX D

1958 Neon Work Order - Page 1 of 2

 

 

Sheet 1 of 1958 Work Order for the Grants Cafι Sign.  This represents the design documentation typical for vintage neon signs.

 

Vintage Neon Work Order From 1958 - Page 2 of 2

 

 

 

Sheet 2 of 2 of the original work order for the Grants Cafι illustrating the design for architectural neon in addition to the sign.

 

 

 

APPENDIX E 

Request For Quotations

Route 66 Neon Restoration Project

(Invitation to bid - neon sign contractors)

 

Introduction: The New Mexico Route 66 Association, a non-profit corporation, has received a grant from the State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Office, to restore vintage neon signs along Route 66 in New Mexico.  Funding is available to restore five to ten signs.  This restoration project is expected to generate enthusiasm and appreciation for the artistic, historic, and practical values that are intrinsic to neon signage.  In addition, completion of the project is expected to stimulate further investment in neon on the Route 66 corridor through New Mexico.  The project was initiated with the publication of the “Special Neon Issue” of Route 66 New Mexico Magazine.  A series of Public Meetings were held in each of the New Mexico Route 66 communities coordinated with each city’s Chamber of Commerce.   Applications for grant funding were solicited and the application phase of the project has been completed.  This solicitation seeks quotations for restoration of signs for which we have received applications. Restoration work must be completed by Sept 6 2002.  Attached are info sheets associated with applications we have received for neon restoration funding.  Vendors can submit individual quotations for all signs or submit quotes only for selected signs. 

 

1.0     Request for Quotation. 

1.1  Eligibility.  New Mexico Sign companies with neon shops within the service areas of the Route 66 cities of Tucumcari, Santa Rosa, Moriarty, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Grants, and Gallup are invited to submit quotations on each of the sign restoration candidates included in this document.  It is anticipated that site visits will be required to enable quotations.

1.2  Scope of work.  Existing neon signs that have been screened for grant eligibility are submitted in this document for quotation.  These signs typically have faded and peeling paint, include non-compliant electrical code wiring and components, and broken or missing tubing.  Most signs are still mounted on their original mounting posts while a few are presently in storage. 

1.3  Requirements.

1.3.1  General Guidelines.  All work performed will make use of original sign components and  sheetmetal where practical.  The work should be characterized as restoration, not replication.  For example, sheetmetal repair can consist of patching an existing can.  Museum quality restoration is not a requirement, a restoration will be acceptable that allows for flaws and defects associated with an outdoor vintage sign.  A restoration should simply result in a serviceable and displayable sign. 

1.3.2 Authenticity.  The restoration should strive to match existing artwork and graphics.  Paint colors used in the restoration should be a close match to original colors.  Original neon colors should be matched referencing old photos or descriptions as provided by the New Mexico Route 66 Association.  In many cases, existing broken neon tubing can be used as a reference for reproducing original colors.  In some instances, only neon insulators remain on the sign and these insulators will be used as a guide for inferring placement of original neon tubing.  Prior to any restoration work, the vendor will consult with the New Mexico Route 66 Association and request written approval to proceed with a vendor identified restoration.

In order to receive approval to proceed with the restoration, the vendor should be prepared to provide sketches or be able to demonstrate the layout and color scheme of proposed retubing, describe sheet metal repair, and the repainting methodology and design.

1.3.3  Electrical Code.  All signs will be restored to current electrical code specifications.  Electrical service to the sign will be inspected by the vendor.  Any requirements for addition, refurbishment, or installation of electrical service should be specified in the quotation to serve as notice to the sign owner of any existing inadequacies.  The sign owner will follow-up with subcontractors to upgrade electrical service. 

1.3.4 Repainting. The Association has identified paint peeling as a major degradation process for repainted neon signs.  It is recognized that the sheet metal can is often made of galvanized steel which if not properly prepared, will result in premature paint peel.  In addition, paint exposed to the higher than average UV light exposure here in New Mexico is subject to premature fading.  The vendor’s quotation will specify materials and surface preparation techniques that enhances longevity for the restoration.

1.3.5   Sign Removal.  Signs for restoration may be removed from the sites for repair.  However, these signs are presently valuable advertising to existing businesses and therefore the time the signs are off-site should be minimized.  The quotation should specify off-site time where applicable.  Quote shall include removal and installation costs for signs moved off-site.

1.3.6.  Special Case – Santa Rosa Welcome Sign.   As noted in the attached documentation for the City of Santa Rosa Welcome Sign, a modification of an existing sign is solicited.  The vendor is invited to submit design concepts and artwork options to realize a double side “Welcome to Santa Rosa”  sign with a lighted message board.  A basic concept is illustrated in the attached documentation for the Santa Rosa sign.  The sign design and artwork will incorporate the existing semi-truck theme and any additions including the message board will adhere to retro or classic design details that would be suggestive of a vintage neon sign with message board.    The budget for this sign will be flexible with award of the contract not based on simply the lowest bid.  If the project is selected for restoration, the criteria for selecting the winning vendor will include the aesthetic appeal of the vendor submitted design and affordability.  With this in mind, several options for this sign can be proposed by the vendor.

1.3.7  Completion of Work.  The quotation should be all-inclusive resulting in  “flip-the-switch” operability upon completion contingent on adequate electrical service at the site. 

1.3.8 Quotation Format.  Vendor may use in-house quotation forms.  Costs for individual tasks associated with the restoration should be itemized.

 

2.0  Time for Performance.   Quotations are due postmarked  by June 21 2002.  Successful quotations will be announced on or about July 5 2002.  All work must be completed by Sept 6 2002.

 

3.0 Contract Awards.  Contracts will be put in place on or about  July 12 2002. Contracts will be between the vendor and the New Mexico Route 66 Association.

 

4.0  Schedule of payments.  25% of the contract will be paid upon the award of the contract.  75% will be paid upon completion and installation of the restored neon sign.

 

5.0  Warranty.  The contract will specify that materials, components, and workmanship will be guaranteed for one year.

 

6.0  Documentation.  The vendor will prepare an “owners manual” that includes information on the care and maintenance of the neon sign. 

 

7.0 Recognition.  Successful vendors will become partners in the neon restoration project.  It is expected that the project will attract both national and local media attention and that the project will be a positive public relations platform that will have benefits for the vendor.  An acknowledgement plaque will be installed at each site by the Association that will recognize all entities that were involved in the restoration including the sign vendor.

 

8.0  Vendor Points of Contact.  Vendor shall specify a Point-of-Contact responsible for restoration execution.  In addition, the vendor will specify a Public Relations Point-of-Contact for all media inquiries.

 

9.0  Solicitation Point-of-Contact.   All questions regarding this solicitation should be directed to:

 

Johnnie V. Meier

505-852-2995

president@rt66nm.org

 

Questions about individual signs should be directed to the sign Point(s)-of-Contact specified with each sign description in this document.

 

10.0       Submission Address.

 

Please submit quotations to:

Johnnie V. Meier

HCR2 Box 3A

Embudo NM 87531

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX F
Budget Detail Sign Contracting Cost/Cost Share

 

Name

Place

Cost

 Contractor

Owner

Pledged

Tucumcari

Cash Match

66 Association

Pledge

NPS

Funds

50%

Aztec*

ABQ

$3200

Zeon Sign

$500

 

$1100

$1600

Westward Ho*

ABQ

$2500

BriteLite

No Refinish

$700  +

in-kind

 

$550

$1250

La Cita*

Tucum

$5600 Clovis

 

$1100

 

$1700

$0

$2800

TeePee

Tucum

$9350 Clovis

No Refinish

In-Kind

$1860

$1815

$4675

Grants Cafe

Grants

$11,000

SignArt

$3500 +

in-kind

 

$2000

$5500

Lexington*

Gallup

$4970  Hinkley

$1000

 

$1485

$2485

Paradise*

Tucum

$6740

Clovis

$1000

 

$1440

$930

$3370

El Comedor

Moriarty

$4084 Southwest

$2042

 

0

$2042

Sun N Sand

Santa Rosa

8084

Southwest

$4042

 

0

4042

TOTALS

 

$56,088

$13,884

$5000

$7880

$27764

 

APPENDIX G

In-Kind Contributions

 

1.1.   Location

1.2.   Task

1.3.   In-Kind Value

TeePee Curio Shop

Strip, repaint Sign Faces

$1000

Westward Ho

Strip, repaint sign faces

$1000

Grants Cafe

Deliver sign to ABQ, Excavate Foundation, concrete, trench electrical line and provide hoo-up

$2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX H

PROJECT BUDGET

 

Sign Contract Invoices

$56,088

Cash Matches

$18,884

In-Kind Matches

$4,000

      Project Management

Accounting

Public Outreach

Materials/Supplies/Mailing

Travel

Admin SubTotal

$11800 

$500

$500

$468

$2200

$15,468

Final Report Close Out

$5000

Plaques

$  560

TOTAL

$100,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX I

SAMPLE CONTRACTOR BID DETAILS

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX J

 

 

Two Similar reference books were prepared, the bidders reference book for contractors and the Candidate Profile Book for the expert panel.  This Appendix represents the Profile book with bid prices added.

 

BIDDERS REFERENCE BOOK

Bid Prices Added After Bids Submitted

 

 

CANDIDATE PROFILE BOOK

Bid Prices Added for Evaluation Panel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Albuquerque – Aztec Motel

Name of Sign

Aztec Motel

Address

3821 Central NE

 

Contact:

Mohamed Natha

254-1742

Alternate Contact

none

 

Condition

Missing access panels, interior debris, missing neon

Size: approx 42’x8’ 

 

Special Note:  Nicely prepared application.

History:  Motel built 1932.  Original sign replaced with current sign in 1961

Matching Funds:  Owner contributes $500

State Register of Cultural Properties:  Yes

Endorsements: Nob Hill Renaissance Corporation, City of ABQ Historic Preservation Dept

Estimated Cost: $3300 Britelite  $3500 SignArt  $3438.92 Southwest $3200 Zeon                         

 

 

Moriarty – El Comedor Rotosphere

ame of Sign

El Comedor Rotosphere

Address

1005 Route 66

Moriarty  NM

Contact:

Mike Anaya

832-4391

Alternate Contact

Michaela Allen

832-0012

Condition

Motor inoperable, missing tubes on spikes

Size: Mounted on 36 foot tall pole.  Spike size maybe 8 ft, 16 feet two spikes wide

Special Note.  Rotosphere has motor driven rotating hemispheres that resulted in rotating neon spikes.  How many left on Route 66?

History:  Restaurant built in 1952 sign installed shortly thereafter.

Matching Funds:  Owner will provide 50%

State Register of Cultural Properties:  No

Endorsements: N.A.

Estimated Cost: $4084.36 Southwest

 

Tucumcari – La Cita

 

Name of Sign

La Cita Restaurant

Address

Tucumcari Blvd.

Tucumcari

Contact:

Karen Manning

461 0949

Alternate Contact

Virginia Wright

461-3884

Condition

Outer bulbs light up, neon letters  missing

Size:  10’ x 8’

Special Note:  Sign once rotated.

History:  Constructed 1959

Matching Funds:  At least $700 maybe more.  Eligible for $5000 neon fund in Tucumcari

State Register of Cultural Properties:  Yes

Endorsements:  N.A.

Estimated Cost: $8800 no rotate $9500 rotate SignArts

                          $5502.25 Southwest

                          $5600 Clovis (rotates) (Sign Removed) includes $1000 repaint

 

 

 

 

 

Gallup – Lexington Hotel

Name of Sign

Lexington Hotel

Address

408 W. Route 66

Downtown Gallup

Contact:

Pat Rosendall

863-4491 (o) 488-5376 (h)

Alternate Contact

none

 

Condition

Sign 1.  Paint Peeling.  “Lexington” letters operational. “Hotel” letters broken.

Sign 2.  Glass Tubing intact but doesn’t work.

Size:  #1 12’ x 6’

Size #2  5’ x 7’

Special Note:  Two Signs.

History: Sign #1 Original 1931 Sign.  Sign #2 Added early 1970s

Matching Funds $500 per sign $1000 towards one sign.

State Register of Cultural Properties:  Yes

Endorsements: Mayor of Gallup, Gallup C of C

Estimated Cost: #1 $4970  #2  $3800 Hinkley

 

Tucumcari – Paradise Motel

Name of Sign

Paradise Motel

Address

2202 W. Tucumcari Blvd.

Tucumcari

Contact:

John  Cullum

461-1209

Alternate Contact

Virginia Wright

461-3884

Condition

Paint missing, no neon left on sign. Many intact neon  segments in storage.

Size:  Main Section 7’x6’

 

History:  Owner estimates sign in place since about 1950.

Matching Funds:  Eligible for Tucumcari $5000 fund. 

State Register of Cultural Properties:  Yes

Endorsements: N.A.

Estimated Cost: $8800 SignArts

                          $3880 Clovis

                          $6634.45 Southwest

 

                

Name of Sign

TeePee Curios

Address

924 E. Rt 66

Tucumcari

Contact:

Mike and Betty Callens

461-3773

Alternate Contact

Virginia Wright

461-1694

Condition

80 % neon missing 20% in storage for reuse

Size: 12’x5’

 

Special Note:  Very carefully and professionally prepared application, one of two best.

History:  Constructed mid 1960s. Last operable mid 1980s.  

Matching Funds:  In Kind.  Owners will clean, repaint,  as required in preparation foe neon installation.  Tucumcari $5000 sign fund can contribute.

State Register of Cultural Properties:  No

Endorsements: Letter from Tucumcari/Quay County C of C

 Price Estimate: $9350 Clovis Sign Company

                          $15,311.07  Southwest Outdoor 

Tucumcari – TeePee Curios

 

Grants – Uranium Cafι

Name of Sign

Uranium Cafe

Address

519 W. Santa Fe Ave

Grants NM

Contact:

Johnie Calahan

287-7540

Alternate Contact

Bill Fjord

287-4802

Condition

Faded Paint, 20% tubing is missing

Size: Main sign 8’x6’ – Wand 6’

Special Note:

  1. Owner will arrange for painting of the sign
  2. Upper “wand” animated

 

History:  Building Constructed 1956..  

Matching Funds:  In Kind.  Owners will clean and arrange painting.  Cash available.

State Register of Cultural Properties:  Yes

Endorsements: Grants Mainstreet Project

Estimated Cost: $5500 (bidder would paint and clean) SignArts Take it Down

 

 

Name of Sign

Westward Ho Motel

Address

7500 Central SW

Albuquerque

Contact:

Kanta Patel

831-9548

Alternate Contact

none

 

Condition

. “Motel” letters work.  “Westward Ho” letters don’t work.

Size: About 25’x12’

Special Note: Owner would like “Westward Ho” letters repainted different color for more visibility.  Sign companies very concerned about Power Lines.

History:  Not Reported

Matching Funds:  $700  Owner has been investing in room renovation.

State Register of Cultural Properties:  Yes

Endorsements: N.A.

Estimated Cost: $9500 Complete Rebuild SignArts

                          $4962.60 Southwest

                          $3200? BriteLite

                          $5000 Sunco

Albuquerque – Westward Ho Motel

Name of Sign

Bobcat Bite

Address

420 Old Las Vegas Highway

Santa Fe

Contact:

John and Ronnie Eckre

Wed-Sat 983-5319

Home 757-2360

Alternate Contact

none

 

Condition

No tubing remaining.

Size: Six foot diameter neon  Zia sun symbol on 20 foot pole

Special Note:  Owner may be interested in adding “Bobcat Bite” in neon letters.  Small restaurant; 5 tables and about 10 diner stools.

History:  Sign installed 1954.  Sign is a local landmark.

Matching Funds:  Owner will provide $1000

State Register of Cultural Properties:  No

Endorsements: N.A.

Estimated Cost: Forthcoming

Santa Fe – Bobcat Bite

 

Tucumcari – Del’s Restaurant

Name of Sign

Del’s Restaurant

Address

1202 E. Tucumcari Blvd.

Tucumcari NM

Contact:

Yvonne Braziel

461-8418

Alternate Contact

Virginia Wright

461-1694

Condition

Neon Missing from “Del’s” and “restaurant”, paint peeled, sheetmetal good

Special Note:  Owners proud of maintaining building and interior as authentic

Size:  15’x 6’ not including cow

History:  Original construction 1956. Neon last operable mid 1980s.  

Matching Funds:  In Kind.  Owner’s friends will perform electrical work  Owners will also provide 50% of neon work.  Also eligible for Tucumcari $5000 restoration funds.

State Register of Cultural Properties:  No

Endorsements: Tucumcar/Quay County Chamber of Commerce

Estimated Cost:

 

 

Name of Sign

El Rey Theater

Address

622 Central Ave. SW.

Albuquerque

Contact:

Kathy Zimmer

242-2353

Alternate Contact

none

 

Condition

Needs repainting, 8 neon units missing, 15 units present but not working, fluorescent lights behind marquee needs replacing. Clock neon broken.

Size:  12’ x 7 ‘  Marquee Section. 4’ wide front panel

Special Note:  Underside of canopy overhang  illuminated with animated neon   Owners very motivated.  Very good proposal package.

History:Built  Theater built1949. Marquee added 1952.  “El Rey” added 1989. Last operational 1992. 

Matching Funds:  $2000  from El Rey, $500 Downtown Action Team

State Register of Cultural Properties:  No

Endorsements:  Downtown Action Team

Estimated Cost: $4850 BriteLite

Albuquerque – El Rey Theater

 

 

Name of Sign

Royal Fork

Address

423 4th St..

Albuquerque

Contact:

Joseph Gonzales

242-0219

Alternate Contact

Cynthia Lopez

764-8867

Condition

Wiring and neon not intact. Cans gutted.

Size: Approx  46’x8’ 

Special Note: Owner wants to convert as per pictures below.

History:  Originally a supermarket built in 1946.  Sign installed 1960

Matching Funds:  Owner will contribute $5000

State Register of Cultural Properties:  No

Endorsements:  Building being renovated with Urban Development Action Grant administered by United South Broadway.

Estimated Cost: $12,000

Albuquerque – Royal Fork Restaurant

 

Name of Sign

Grants Cafe

Address

932 E. Santa Fe Ave.

Grants

Contact:

Steve Hardy

285-6474

Alternate Contact

Bill Fjord

287-4802 (o)

290-7161 (cell)

Condition

Sign blown down by wind – arrow cut into sections - presently in storage.  Steel sign post still in place. Sheet metal good.

Size: 10’ x 20’

Special Note: 

History:  Built in 1938, blown down in 1998

Matching Funds:  Owner will transport sign to repair shop.  Also preparation for neon including sand blasting, sheetmetal, painting.  Some cash available

Endorsements: N.A.  (Grants Mainstreet has verbally endorsed project)

Estimated Cost:  No bids

Grants Cafι – Grants

 

 

 

Tucumcari – La Cita

 

Name of Sign

La Cita Restaurant

Address

Tucumcari Blvd.

Tucumcari

Contact:

Karen Manning

461 0949

Alternate Contact

Virginia Wright

461-3884

Condition

Outer bulbs light up, neon letters  missing

Size:  10’ x 8’

Special Note:  Sign once rotated.

History:  Constructed 1959

Matching Funds:  At least $700 maybe more.  Eligible for $5000 neon fund in Tucumcari

State Register of Cultural Properties:  Yes

Endorsements:  N.A.

Estimated Cost: $8800 no rotate $9500 rotate SignArts

                          $5502.25 Southwest

                          $5600 Clovis (rotates) (Sign Removed) includes $1000 repaint

 

 

 

 

Name of Sign

Ranch Kitchen

Address

3001 W Highway 66

Gallup

Contact:

John Marbury

722-2537

Alternate Contact

none

 

Condition

Neon Intact.  Existing electrical unreliable, high maintenance. Owner believes unreliability due to poor wiring/transformers.  Wants sign rebuilt

Size: Approximately 5”x8’

 

Special Note:.

History:  Original location was built 1955. Present location since 1982.

Matching Funds:  Owner will pay 50%

State Register of Cultural Properties:  No

Endorsements: N.A.

Estimated Cost:  $6515

Gallup – Ranch Kitchen

 

 

 

 

Name of Sign

Rio Pecos Garage

Address

256 Coronado Av. W

Santa Rosa

Contact:

Lou Chavez

472-3421

Alternate Contact

Richard Delgado

472-3848

Condition

Channel Letter sign.  “Rios Pecos” neon tubing in storage.

Size: About 16’ x 4’

Special Note:.  The business no longer operates as a garage.  Owner would like “Garage” channel letters replaced with “Gas – Feed.”  To be installed on existing gas island canopy.

History:  Constructed in 1948

Matching Funds:  In Kind.  Owner will repaint and clean in preparation for neon. Owner will also deliver/pickup  to/from  neon vendor if required

State Register of Cultural Properties:  No

Endorsements: N.A.

Estimated Cost:

Santa Rosa – Rio Pecos Garage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name of Sign

Rio Pecos Truck Sign

Address

Old Route 66

Santa Rosa

Contact:

Richard Delgado

472-3848

Alternate Contact

none

 

Condition

Will be modified

Special Note:  Truck driver neon with neon outlined trailer and wheels. Driver has  animated waving hand.  City of Santa Rosa wants to replace white plastic area (“Rio Pecos Ranch Truck Terminal”) to a neon  “Welcome to Santa Rosa” with a lighted message board.  Sign will be relocated from existing site.  Very large sign.

Santa Rosa – Rio Pecos Truck Sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Santa Rosa – Sun and Sand Motel

Name of Sign

Sun and Sand

Address

1124 Will Rogers Dr

Santa Rosa NM

Contact:

Joe Trujillo

472-3092

Alternate Contact

Richard Delgado

472-3404

Condition

Faded Paint,  tubing missing

Size: 40’x 21’

Special Note:  Neon outlined zia symbol, neon channel letters, neon “MOTEL”

History:  Not submitted

Matching Funds:  Owner pays 50%  (owner has not been advised of $10k share)

State Register of Cultural Properties:  Yes

Endorsements: N.A.

Estimated Cost: $20,000  (LATER RECEIVED BID OF ~$8000)

Name of Sign

Virgie’s Restaurant

Address

2720 W. Hiway 66

Gallup

Contact:

Charlie Chavez

863-5152

Alternate Contact

None

 

Condition

Intact and operational except neon missing from big yellow arrow. Owner would like yellow arrow retubed.

Size: 25’x40’

Special Note:  Size approx 25’x40’ Repaint preferred.

History:  Originally erected late 60s early seventies as a cafeteria. Converted to Virgies Oct 1980.

Matching Funds:  Will provide 50% matching funds

State Register of Cultural Properties:  No

Endorsements: N.A.

Estimated Cost: $20,400 (complete rebuild?)

Gallup – Virgie’s