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2003 Cost-Share Grant Awards -
Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program

(Released: August, 2003)


Question : What do four roofs, 15 concrete tepees, a building named after a pig’s hip, metal palm trees, a bath house, a cottage-style gas station, two movie theatres, a building dedicated to Roger Miller, the capturing of old-timer’s memories, and a collegiate theatrical group have in common?

Answer : They all have just been awarded financial assistance from the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program in 2003.

Congress passed the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Act in 1999, directing the National Park Service to manage the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program, which was to be administered by the National Trails System Office in Santa Fe. The Program is intended to provide technical assistance; cost-share and grants for rehabilitation, restoration, and preservation projects; interpretive planning; information clearinghouse management; and other services.

The Program distributes cost-share funds to eligible preservation and research projects through a competitive process. Over the first three years of the Program’s existence, 39 projects have been funded in the eight states through which Route 66 passes. In 2001, the first year of the program, $410,000 was awarded to 16 projects. In 2002, with reduced appropriations, $151,226 was awarded to 10 recipients for Route 66 preservation, oral history, and education outreach projects.

Thirteen projects have recently been selected to receive cost-share grants in 2003 totaling approximately $133,000:

• The quintessential Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona, has been awarded funds to assist in preserving the concrete motel units and to repair the neon sign on the office.

• In Wilmington, Illinois, the historic Eagle Hotel will receive funds to replace the roof over the 19th - century building.

• Also in Illinois, the former venerable Pig Hip Restaurant in Broadwell will receive funds to replace the roof and gas furnace in collaboration with the Route 66 Association of Illinois.

• The City of Tucumcari, New Mexico, will receive funds to stabilize the WPA bathhouse at the Five Mile Park where Route 66 travelers used to camp and soak their weary bones at the largest swimming pool in the state.

• The classic El Rancho Hotel in Gallup, New Mexico, has been awarded funds to repair and seal the wood shake roof over the 1937 hotel where movie stars such as Ronald Reagan, Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, and Kirk Douglas used to stay while making Western movies in the area.

• The popular Route 66 Oral History project managed by David Dunaway and administered through the New Mexico Route 66 Association has been funded for a second year. This year, the oral history project will provide follow up technical assistance to those who participated in the 2003 oral history workshops; locate and catalog existing interviews; and develop a guide for collecting Route 66 oral histories.

• The New Mexico Route 66 Association will also be administering a preservation plan for the Pecos Theatre in Santa Rosa, to address serious moisture problems in the historic theatre, which dates to the 1920s.

• New Mexico Route 66 Association will also be administering the restoration of the neon sign at the El Rey Theatre in Albuquerque.

• In Tulsa, Oklahoma, funds will go to the Tulsa Foundation for Architecture to assist in the restoration of the classic Meadow Gold neon sign built in the mid 1930s.

• Also in Oklahoma, Preservation El Reno, Inc., has received funds for the restoration of the Oasis Drive-in neon palm-tree sign that greets travelers at the east end of town.

• In Chandler, Oklahoma, the restoration of the vintage 1930 Phillips gas station will be completed by the owner with cost-share assistance from the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program.

• The soon-to-open Roger Miller Museum in Erick, Oklahoma, will receive funding assistance to repair or replace the windows and doors in its 1929 building, which once served as a café and corner drug store.

• And the Northern Arizona Department of Theatre has been awarded funds to produce a short promotional film highlighting its highly successful theatrical presentation Route 66: A Celebration of America’s Mainstreet (you have to see this production, it’s great!).

Please visit our web site at to learn more about the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program and how you can help in furthering the preservation of Route 66’s icons.

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