The Boulder Daily Camera has a nice story on the Circle Motel in Lafayette, just north of Denver on the Lincoln Highway’s Colorado Loop. Like many mid-century motels, it wavers between identies of classic architecture (it was once the Lafayette Cabin Camp) and a modern trouble spot. Preservationists want to preserve it as a symbol of city’s early highway history while critics consider it blight.
Kenneth Foote, a member of Lafayette’s Historic Preservation Board, said the motel on the edge of Old Town is the last building left that’s associated with the city’s early highway history….
“This building has outlasted its life span,” said owner Mike Macinko. “It should be scrapped. There’s infinitely more bad history here than good.”
The motel, one of the few options for those who don’t have the money for a down payment and don’t want a long-term lease, has long had a reputation for attracting drug dealers, sex offenders and others living on the edges of society….
Count former owner Phyllis McGlathery as a preservation proponent…. She became interested in the property’s history after receiving a letter from the National Park Service about the Circle Motel’s connection to the Lincoln Highway. A historic survey commissioned by Lafayette in 2008 described the Circle Motel as the “best example of properties related to the 1920s-1930s rise of the auto-related retail and service economy” in the city. According to the survey, the property represents the prominent economic role of the Denver Loop of the Lincoln Highway….
Macinko, the owner, said he’s not interested in applying for local landmark designation…. His plans include razing all the buildings and replacing them with small, energy-efficient apartments. In a nod to the motel’s lengthy history, he said, he would try to incorporate the look and feel of the place in a new design and keep the original cottage….
The article includes a history of the property and long list of criminal problems there in the past 5 years.