Motel Makeover

Developers are turning roadside ruins into affordable housing

The Luna Lodge once welcomed weary travelers making their way on old Route 66 through New Mexico.

One of the many motels that sprouted up along the famed highway in the 1950s, Luna was built at a time when families vacationed by car and stayed in mom-and-pop motels advertising cheap rates.

But as Route 66 was replaced by faster freeways, roadside businesses dwindled and fell into decline. Luna Lodge, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and cited as one of the best examples of the state’s old motor courts, lasted longer than most before sitting largely empty the past several years.

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