Old signs, marquees across Albuquerque, likely here to stay

News

If you take a stroll or cruise down Route 66, you’ll find dozens of old signs. 

“I personally think they’re pretty cool,” said Marcus Trujillo. 

Most of the signs have a retro flair — some were for old restaurants, others for motels like El Vado. 

“A perfect example of an old sign on Route 66 that stood in disrepair for years and now has been rehabilitated,” said Carmelina Hart, spokesperson for the city’s Planning Department.  

Although many of the businesses are no longer open or even standing, the city has kept them up for old times’ sake. 

“I think it’s really important that you always remember where you come from and the history of where you’re at, so I think it’s really important to at least make an effort to preserve things like that,” said Sean Maloy.  

Yet, there are also signs that have no unique look, historic value, and are just run down. 

“If they’re maybe rusting out, or if you can’t really read the signs anymore, I think it would be okay to take those down,” said Trujillo.  

Although some people would like those signs to go, the city can’t just force property owners to take them down. 

“In terms of businesses that still have their sign up, but they’re no longer in business at that location, they are required to remove the copy on the sign,” said Hart. 

She said any business that is no longer in operation has 30 days to remove any words or advertisements from their marquee. However, there are no regulations requiring them to take down the metal structure.

This allows any new business that moves in to use it if they want to.

Another interesting fact, existing signs are exempt from any height requirements that were enacted after they were built. However, if a business owner takes down that sign and builds a new one they must conform to the new rules. 
 

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