Railroad Addition Historic District and Boundary Increase, Flagstaff, Arizona

The railroad has always had an important association with Route 66, and this is well illustrated in central Flagstaff. A walk along Santa Fe Avenue shows the influence of the railroad on the city’s development, as every building is oriented toward the iron tracks. As automobiles replaced the train as the country’s primary mode of transportation, the Route 66 corridor paralleling the tracks exerted a similar force on development.

At this time Flagstaff was at the end of what one magazine writer described as “18 miles of narrow, crooked, poorly surfaced road which is particularly dangerous in dry weather due to raveling and innumerable potholes.” The Daily Sun described the nearby Motel Du Beau, constructed in 1929 at the intersection of Beaver Street and Phoenix Avenue, as “a hotel with garages for the better class of motorists.” Units rented for $2.60 to $5.00 each, and were perfect for the new phenomenon of automobile tourism. Rates are a little higher now, but the Craftsman-style facility provides affordable accommodations to today’s travelers as the DuBeau International Hostel.

The Railroad Addition Historic District includes portions of Santa Fe Ave./Route 66, Aspen Ave., Leroux St., and San Francisco St. in Flagstaff, AZ and is bounded by Birch Ave., the Santa Fe Railroad tracks, Beaver St., and Agassiz St. The Flagstaff Visitor Center in the old train station at 1 East Route 66 is open Monday-Saturday 8:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday 9:00am to 4:00pm; it is wheelchair accessible and admission is free.

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