24 Sep Downtowner Motel, Flagstaff, Arizona
The Downtowner Motel in Flagstaff, Arizona is an example of creative reuse! It’s one block south of Route 66 and was originally built in 1919 when the road through town was called “the Old Trails Highway”. It’s had a checkered history and was a brothel for a while! K. J. Nackard bought and improved the place in the 1930’s and made it into an “auto inn” (at a time that people were just beginning to take longer car trips) that even had heated garages! At that time the rooms rented for $2.50-$5.00 per night and featured private baths, double beds and carpeting. Wow!
It’s interesting that in the 1930’s a sign war began between several of the hotels in Flagstaff competing for travelers on Route 66. The Downtowner and the Motel DeBeau both put up huge 60’ signs to attract customers, and these signs still remain today.
Now the place is The Grand Canyon International Youth Hotel and private apartments.