The roaches are out of a home. This week The American Inn on Route 66 in Albuquerque, long dilapidated and dismal, is being demolished.

I stopped by the site near Central & Washington this morning to take photos of what remained part-way through the razing. Already at 7am, the vultures were circling. Trucks drove by slowly hoping to haul off rubble for a few bucks but the official demo crew had yet to arrive. Nobody was guarding the place or paying any attention to me, so I wandered through the ruins. Here's what I saw.

[where: 87108]

Views: 52

Comment by buggs on April 29, 2008 at 10:59pm
When I use to work patrol in the early 80's we use to stop at the American Inn every morning for coffe and breakfast. That was way before it went down hill and when the roaches use to keep a low profile. Then right before I retired I got in some foot chases in the courtyard and took some reports of deaths in some of the rooms, all still vivid in my mind.

Nice photos!
Comment by Scott Hale on April 29, 2008 at 11:54pm
These photos beg a question. Does anyone know if the city simply landfills the material or are they making an effort to unbuild and recycle/reuse the building materials, fixtures and architectural salvage on these projects?

It seems that this would be an ideal "green" opportunity that might make up for what has been mostly greenwash on part of the city to this point. The publisher of Fine Homebuilding put out a pretty good book on the process about a year ago.
Comment by magoo on April 30, 2008 at 6:47am
cross one more weekend resort destination off the list.......
Comment by chantal on April 30, 2008 at 7:02am
Good question, Scott. If I were a mixed media artist (or any artist, for that matter), I'd want to get my hands on some of that rusted mattress coil sitting around.
Comment by Sí Serrano on April 30, 2008 at 8:01am
Nice work and thanks for going in and sharing.

Comment by T on April 30, 2008 at 9:50am
Wow, amazing, I hadnt thought of the place in years, but without the 24 hour thing, Wild thing on the jukebox, and chili cheese fries, I might not have made it through college.
Comment by chantal on April 30, 2008 at 10:18am
Hey, does anyone know what this hotel was originally called? In this postcard of the area from the city website, I don't see an "American Inn" sign which leads me to believe it was previously a Ramada or something else? We need that guy from Route 66 News to weigh in here as I'm sure he knows.
Comment by chantal on April 30, 2008 at 10:19am
oops, motel not hotel.
Comment by killbox on April 30, 2008 at 11:45am
Thank you Chantal, the "Good Riddance" attitude of the other thread bummed me out.

I think there is beauty in history, and even in the decay of things made by the hand of mankind. Id rather it be revamped/reused, than just torn down. Albuquerque looses a bit of its history every day, but if we are lucky, somebody saves something, or at least photographs it before it is gone.

...lest we be doomed to repeat it.
Comment by Lazlo Nibble on April 30, 2008 at 11:14pm
Good call, Chantal -- it was built as a Ramada in the late '50s, replacing the Ambassador Lodge.

I have to agree with the good-riddance crowd on this one. I hate to see any classic Route 66 motel get torn down, but I'd have a hard time defending a generic, characterless multistory crackerbox like the American Inn as "classic". And you could probably rebuild an identical copy of the original from scratch for less than it'd cost to make the existing building usable again.


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