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2958 Missouri 100, Gray Summit, MO
The Gardenway is one of those motels that so long that it is difficult
to get it all in one photo. Louis Eckelcamp started out in 1945 by building
a motel with 25 rooms each with tile baths. He named it the Gardenway
Motel and expanded it in the early 1950s with the addition of 16 more
rooms in a second building behind the original, bringing the total room
count to 41. Late in 2014 the Gardenway Motel closed abruptly after 70
years of operation by the same family.
It is located just west of Shaw Nature Reserve / Missouri Botanical
Gardens on MO 100 which is the original alignment of Route 66 at that
Probably the most distinctive feature of the motel in later years was
the huge GARDENWAY neon sign on the roof. That sign was added to the
roof after I-44 opened and siphoned traffic of the old road out front.
The apparent hope was that travelers on the freeway would see the sign
and pull off. The top bar in the "E" is missing in this photo.
Another neon sign stands out front by the office. Glass blocks make
up part of the lower section of this sign. The name is a take off on
the Henry Shaw Gardenway, a portion of Route 66 from St. Louis to the
Botanical Gardens in Gray Summit. The road got its name as a tribute
to Henry Shaw who was instrumental in the development of the Botanical