New Mexico Signs (page 6)

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Kirk's Center

Buffalo Bar [gone]
Silver City, NM
Copper Manor Motel [gone]
Silver City, NM
The Buffalo Bar sign was probably from the 1950s. This photo is from 2012. The bar closed in 2014. By 2018, the sign was gone. For more, see this website.

The Copper Manor Motel sign is probably from the 1960s. In 2018, the main text panel of the sign were missing. Around 2021, the entire sign was replaced with a backlit plastic box. [map]

El Camino Family Restaurant
Socorro, NM
Roadrunner Lounge
Socorro, NM
The El Camino Family Restaurant opened in 1963 and this sign appears to be from then. The plastic balls on the sign were missing when the first photo was taken in 2008. By 2009, they were restored. The second photo above is from 2012. In 2023, the sign was repainted and restored by Zeon Signs of Albuquerque. For more, see this website. [map]

The Roadrunner Lounge sign is probably from the 1950s or 1960s. For more, see this website. [map]

More Socorro:
Valverde Hotel [map]

Taos Inn
Taos, NM
El Pueblo Lodge
Taos, NM
Spur Restaurant [gone]
Texico, NM
The Taos Inn opened in 1936 as the Hotel Martin. It was renamed the Taos Inn in the 1940s. This sign appears to be modern or a replica of an older sign. For more, see this website. [map]

The El Pueblo Lodge was originally named the El Pueblo Motor Lodge. This sign is probably from the 1950s. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

The Spur Restaurant sign appeared to be from the 1950s or 1960s. These photos are from 2012. By 2017, the sign was gone.

Palomino Motel
Tucumcari, NM
Apache Motel
Tucumcari, NM
Golden Dragon Restaurant
Tucumcari, NM
The Palomino Motel opened in 1953. There was a different sign installed here originally. The sign that is there now is from the 1960s. The two sides of the sign have different plastic panels. In 2019, the neon and bulbs were removed. The sign is now lit with LED tubing. There was also another sign installed at the same time. That sign is now at Neonopolis in Las Vegas, NV. For more, see this website. [map]

The Apache Motel opened around 1964. In 2006, new owners refurbished the motel. The 24-foot-tall sign was restored and painted white. The motel closed in 2007. I believe the sign was red originally. It was painted black for many years. The first photo above is from around 2005. The second photo is from 2012. The sign is outlined with approximately 800 bulbs on the front and back of the sign which flashed in a chasing pattern. The motel has been closed and boarded up since at least 2011. In 2019, work on the property lasted less than a year. In 2024, the owner discovered that the sign was unstable. It was removed and laid on the ground while restoration operations are being considered. The estimate is about $100,000. For more, see this website. [2005 photo thanks Glenda Campbell] [map]

The Golden Dragon Restaurant opened in 1966 and this sign appears to be from then. Before that, the restaurant was known as Hall's Restaurant. It was built in the early 1950s. [map]

Lasso Motel [gone]
Tucumcari, NM
Pony Soldier
Motel [gone]
Tucumcari, NM
Americana Motel
Tucumcari, NM
Trails West Lounge
Tucumcari, NM
The Lasso Motel was demolished in 2010 but this sign was still there in 2012. By 2015, the sign was gone. For more, see this website.

The Pony Soldier Motel was built in 1960. The motel was demolished in 2010. In 2015, the sign was dismantled and put in storage. For more, see this website.

The Americana Motel opened as the Desert Air Motel around 1935. This sign is probably from the 1950s. The lettering was adapted and the cactus on top of the sign was removed. For more, see this website. [map]

The Trails West Lounge sign is probably from the 1950s or 1960s. [map]

Masonic Lodge
Tucumcari, NM
Boulevard Cleaners
Tucumcari, NM
This Masonic Lodge sign might be from the 1950s. [map]

The Boulevard Cleaners "Wash Lady" sign was built in the late 1990s. It was based on the 1970s painted plywood sign left behind by the previous business, M&M Cleaners. The new owners liked that sign (shown at right) so much that they decided to use design for the rooftop neon sign. It cost about $7,000. The old sign is still installed on the building directly beneath the new one. For more, see this website. [map]

Buckaroo Motel
Tucumcari, NM
Thunderbird Restaurant & Lounge
Tucumcari, NM
The Buckaroo Motel opened in 1952. This sign is not the original but it appears to be from the 1950s or 1960s. It is lit at night. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

The Thunderbird Restaurant & Lounge sign is probably from the 1960s. It reads "Restaurant" on one side and "Lounge" on the other. [map]

Cactus RV Park
Tucumcari, NM (now Albuquerque, NM)
2012: 2019:
The Cactus RV Park sign originally advertised for the Cactus Motor Lodge. The Motor Lodge opened in 1941. This sign is probably from the 1950s. It was restored and adapted for the RV Park in 2008. In 2018, the sign was removed. It is now part of a private collection. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2.

Blue Swallow Motel
Tucumcari, NM
The Blue Swallow Motel opened in 1939 as the Blue Swallow Court. It was a classic motor court with 12 units, each with its own attached garage. The last photo above shows a modern replica of the original sign which has been installed on the motel building. In 1958, the name was changed to Blue Swallow Motel and this sign was built. It is about 25 feet long. The third photo above shows one of the neon swallows which are mounted above the units' garage doors. The motel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Paradise Motel [gone]
Tucumcari, NM
The Paradise Motel's 1950s sign was in bad shape back in 2002. During research for the sign's restoration in 2003, it was discovered that the Indian head panels at the base of the sign were not part of the original design. A vintage photo revealed a long-missing portion of the sign: a woman diving into splashing water. Diving women signs were frequently used by motel in the 1950s to advertise that they had pools. This sign's stylized pool splash panels were adapted later to create headdresses for depictions of Tocom and Kari. This was most likely done when the motel's pool was filled in. During the 2003 restoration, the Indian heads were saved and moved onto the lawn nearby. The diving woman and pool splash were recreated with the word "POOL" changed to "OPEN". The rooftop sign is probably also from the 1950s. There was a fire in 2016 and another in 2017. In 2018, the signs were all removed. They are now owned by a private collector.

More Tucumcari:
Dean's Restaurant: 1, 2, 3 [vintage; gone]
Del's Restaurant
La Cita Restaurant
TeePee Curios

Western Motel
Vaughn, NM
Big Chief Gas Station
Zia Pueblo, NM
The Western Motel sign was probably built in the 1960s. There was a different sign there in the 1950s. For more, this website. [map]

The Big Chief Gas Station is abandoned but this sign remains. There were large horizontal neon text panels beneath the Indian that extended to another sign pole. The text read "Big Chief Truck Terminal, Diesel, Rio Pecos Oil Co." In the late 1970s, the other sign pole also had a plastic FINA sign on top. For more, see this website. [map]

More Vaughn:
Ranch House Cafe

More New Mexico:
various theatres (various cities)
NM (page 1) NM (page 2) NM (page 3) NM (page 4) NM (page 5)
Albuquerque Gallup

Main Signs Page