Downtown Albuquerque hotel added to National Registry of Historic Places

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s stood tall on the edge of Downtown Albuquerque since the mid-60s. Now a vacant hotel on Central and 8th Street is being put on the National Register of Historic Places.

The six-story hotel opened in 1965 as The Downtowner Motor Inn. It was one of many in a chain across the United States. “They specifically built larger hotels and they would locate them near large transportation routes like Route 66, but also the downtowns,” said Steven Moffson, State and National Register Coordinator.

Since being built 55 years ago, the hotel has also been converted into a Quality Inn, a Ramada Inn, and more recently The Hotel Blue which has been closed for years. Last year, a California company purchased the vacant building with plans to renovate and reopen it by 2022. In a 2019 interview, Ryan McCulloch with the Neighborhood Establishment told News 13 the hotel would be restored back to its mid-century modern style.

The hotel now joins places like El Vado and the Kimo Theater on the National Register of Historic Places, which means the developers could be eligible for federal and state tax credits. “In large projects, developers will take advantage of these credits because it saves them a substantial amount of money,” said Moffson. Not only will the money help with renovations, but being on the register could attract more people to the hotel once it reopens. “Being able to identify your building as historic along Route 66 will be very important to business,” Moffson added.

The developers plan on repainting murals depicting Native American imagery on the south side of the building. The renovations are expected to cost about $22 million.

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