National Park Service, Department of Interior Image with Arrowhead ParknetLinks to Pastcontact Title Image entitled Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program, Preserving America's Heritage
home link imageprogram description link imagegrants/cost-share link imagecurrent news link imageconferences/training linkconferences/training link imagepublications link imagelinks link imageroute 66 map link imagecontact us link image


Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program Working Meeting

(Released: January, 2002)

The Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program (NPS Program) convened a two-day meeting in Albuquerque with 40 representatives from established and recognized organizations involved with the preservation of historic properties along Route 66. Representatives included State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPO), state Route 66 Associations, state Departments of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration. The intent of the meeting was to review the purpose and activities of the program, to seek input related to program priorities and potential sources of matching funds, and to begin development of a long-term Federal Advisory Committee.

The agenda focused on the directives of the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Act passed by Congress in 1999. This Act authorized the National Park Service to assist in preserving the most representative and significant Route 66 historic properties through a program of technical assistance and cost-share awards and grants. The program, which was established in April of last year, to date has awarded several grants and cost-share project funds in each of the eight states through which the route passes, and is developing a system of technical assistance.

The meeting agenda included a tour of Route 66 properties in Albuquerque along 4th Street (the 1926-37 alignment) and Central Avenue (post 1937 alignment). The great tour was expertly led by Ed Boles, City of Albuquerque Preservation Planner, and David Kammer, historian and consultant. The group visited and discussed various preservation issues at such Route 66 landmarks as the Kimo Theatre, the Nob Hill Business District, and the Aztec Motel where the group was hosted by the ever-hospitable Shoky Natha.

Grants and Cost Share Awards

A major objective of the grant and cost-share awards is to stimulate and support the preservation of Route 66 resources. During the meeting, the grant and cost-share application criteria were reviewed. The criteria and guidelines developed for last year's project proposal requests for the most part will be used again this year. Grants and cost-share funded amounts will be distributed in the $5,000 to $50,000 range, but the NPS will maintain the flexibility to increase or decrease these amounts to deal with unusual projects. There may be some funding flexibility to award mini-grants to communities, associations, etc., which may then be distributed by them to smaller community projects. This type of funding would be considered after submittal of a grant proposal that would specifically define how the preservation funds would be used. A brochure is to be developed that will educate and assist any person or organization interested in applying for a grant or cost share award.

Properties with direct association to Route 66 (i.e. that are transportation related) will receive a higher priority for funding than those with secondary association. For example, a 1930's gas station on Route 66 in need of preservation funding will rank higher than a historic residence that is on Route 66. Research such as historical building surveys and oral histories may receive high funding priority as well. NPS estimates that approximately $150,000 will be available for the grants and cost-share program for this year. The Request for Proposals (RFP) to interested applicants will be sent out in the spring. If you are interested in receiving a RFP, please let us know and we will be happy to place your name on the mailing list.

Technical Assistance

Another major objective of the program is to provide technical assistance to the various organizations, local governments and property owners along Route 66. During the meeting it was concluded that the NPS Program staff will conduct site visits for technical assistance whenever possible, however many technical assistance requests will be directed to the appropriate SHPO's in closest proximity to a given property. The National Parks in the vicinity of Route 66 can also serve as technical assistance sources through coordinated efforts with the NPS Program.

The NPS Program is also developing a clearinghouse of Route 66 preservation information, including historic preservation standards and guidelines, technical briefs, the benefits of and application process for listing properties on the National Register of Historic Places, other grant opportunities, and training opportunities. Standards, guidelines, grant opportunities and training opportunities for the recording, transcribing and archiving of oral histories will also be provided. The NPS Program will develop a technical resource guide as a means for disseminating some of this information. A website will also be developed to provide concise information on program goals and project information, with links to more detailed sites such as the state Route 66 Associations, National Register of Historic Places, National Trust for Historic Preservation, etc. The NPS Program will also assist in coordinating historic property description information between the eight SHPO database systems.


There was general consensus in the meeting that the NPS will assume a minimal role in interpretation of the route to avoid impacting the idiosyncratic Route 66 experience through standardized interpretation. The NPS will, however assist at the grass roots level to facilitate planning and training. There may also be opportunities to work with other government agencies such as the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service to interpret some of the more remote areas administered by these agencies wherever interpretation may be appropriate, such as roadside interpretive panels describing the history of road building, etc.

Public Relations/Press

A clear need to create and widely publicize success stories as examples of how NPS funds are being used was recognized. The success stories will be publicized locally, nationally and internationally to draw the attention of congressional leaders, corporate entities, and the general public. The NPS Program will also focus on communication and collaboration with local constituents along the route. A newsletter will be produced and distributed on an as-needed basis to governmental offices, associations, and other interested persons.

Leveraging Funds

A critical topic in the meeting discussions was the fact that the 10 million dollars authorized for appropriation to fund the intent of the Act over a ten-year period is not guaranteed. Annual budgets to date have been a $500,000 appropriation in 2001, and a $300,000 appropriation in 2002. The NPS Program has submitted a 1.25 million dollar request for 2003, however this amount is not guaranteed.

Other avenues for funding Route 66 preservation initiatives were discussed including corporate partnerships, private donations, Scenic Byway status, humanities councils, service clubs, and other grant programs. National and State Register designations can also be used to stimulate funding and provide tax benefits.

Advisory Committee

An ad-hoc committee was elected whose role will be to provide nominations to the NPS Program for an eleven member long-term Federal Advisory Committee. The role of the Federal Advisory Committee will be to provide the NPS Program with information and advice on a broad range of issues affecting the program, including cost-share application guidelines and criteria, technical assistance, etc. We hope to have the advisory committee official and up and running by the end of this year.

The discussions that took place over the two-day meeting were very helpful to the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program. Since its inception, the participation of partners has been and will continue to be an essential component in program development and success. If you would like a copy of the detailed proceedings from the meeting, please contact our office and we will be happy to send them to you.

Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program
Long Distance Trails Group Office - Santa Fe
P.O. Box 728
Santa Fe, N. Mex.

captions pagePrivacy & Disclaimer