Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Zia added more neon, a canopied entrance, and enclosed the carports to keep up with the competition. The sign is higher and a flasher sits at the very top. This kind of flasher, along with most animated and large signage along Route 66 in Albuquerque was eliminated as a result of LadyBird Johnson's "beautify America" campaign. The Zia sign was eventually replaced with an extremely large panel with the letters Zia Motor Lodge. This panel used to be in front of the Hiway House down the street. I would love to see it lit up again...even without a motel to go with it.

Notice that even in this picture, the Zia is surrounded by a lot of empty space. Also, notice that the shrubs seem overgrown and untended. The trees seem weedy. The grounds worn out. I bet that canopy looked terrible even when new. I have a feeling that the Zia needed it to be dark and with a lot of neon zig-zags in order to rent rooms. Tired travelers...vacancy.

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