Swallow Night shows the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico. The Blue Swallow is one of the more popular destinations on the whole highway and is known from end to end. Travelers far and wide stop and see the Blue Swallow, and visit this historic property.
Built in 1939, the Blue Swallow was open for business in 1940 with ten rooms and offered convenient garages for your car. An attractive motor court, its pink stucco walls have embedded-shell motifs. It was an unusual combination, the shells and stucco, but it works and adds to the charm. As to be expected, the Blue Swallow made extensive use of neon lights, as Swallow Night shows.
Tucumcari and all its businesses suffered when the interstate bypassed the city, despite plans to future-proof it. The Blue Swallow was no exception, but it hung on, although it was in dire need of repairs. Eventually, new owners purchased it, renovated it, and kept it alive.
The Blue Swallow also features a throwback to the early days of traveling by the use of its colorful chairs. In those days, meaning in the days before television was in every motel room, the concept of checking in and then settling in to watch TV didn’t exist. Instead, guests socialized outside their rooms, relaxing in the chairs. In that tradition, the entire property has a large and colorful selection of chairs for you. Sitting in the chairs it is easy to drift back to the days before the interstate. Cars would whiz by on Route 66, with some stopping and some continuing on. People would walk up and down the street, and others would sit with us and visit.
Swallow Night reminds us it is check-in time, so we’d best be heading to the front desk now.