Back in the day, the Hotel Safari, which opened in 1959 at the height of the Mother Road's popularity, was one of the most popular and modern motels on the Tucumcari, New Mexico, Route 66 strip.
The Motel Safari was constructed by an independent motel developer in the Googie architectural style, which eventually became Mid-Century Modern. This futuristic architecture, influenced by car culture, jets, the Space Age, and Atomic Age, was famous nationwide from 1945 to the early 1970s. So many of the distinctive futuristic design elements are still visible. You will find the fun geometric neon sign topped with Clyde the Camel, oozing brick mortar and counter stacked bricks, square holes in the cinder block structures, and perforations in metal cylinders that glow like stars at night.
An extensive renovation began on the Hotel Safari in 2007. Much of the original custom mid-century modern furniture has been saved and restored, with newer pieces carefully selected to complement the decor. In addition, modern amenities have been added without sacrificing the motel's historic appearance.
Copyright 2021 Susan Rissi Tregoning
December 17th, 2021
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